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WEBSTER REPORTS HIGHER EARNINGS FOR QUARTER AND YEAR, DECLARES DIVIDEND

 WEBSTER REPORTS HIGHER EARNINGS FOR QUARTER AND YEAR,
 DECLARES DIVIDEND
 WATERBURY, Conn., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Webster Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WBST) holding company for Waterbury based First Federal Bank, reported net income of $3.4 million or $1.07 per share for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, compared to a loss of $2.7 million or 79 cents per share for the year ended Dec. 31, 1990. Webster reported net income of $947,000 or 30 cents per share for the fourth quarter compared to $725,000 or 22 cents per share for the 1990 fourth quarter. The board of directors voted a regular quarterly cash dividend of 13 cents per share, payable Feb. 14, 1992 to shareholders of record on Feb. 6, 1992.
 The 1991 results reflected an increase in the net interest spread and higher fees and service charges. For the quarter, net interest income was a record $6.3 million, an increase of 26 percent from a year earlier, as the cost of funds continued to decrease relative to the yield on earning assets. Income from fees and service charges rose to $1.1 million, compared to $630,000 for the same period a year earlier. For the year, net interest income was $23.0 million compared to $19.1 million a year earlier, while income from fees and service charges was $3.2 million compared to $2.3 million.
 Nonperforming assets decreased $1.9 million during the quarter to $20.5 million after charge-offs of $3.2 million. Nonperforming assets amounted to $17.3 million at year end 1990. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets at Dec. 31, 1991 was 2.3 percent, well below the average for Connecticut financial institutions. Provisions for possible losses on loans and other real estate owned totaled $2.4 million for the quarter, and $6.2 million for the year. The allowance for possible loan losses at Dec. 31, 1991 amounted to $8.9 million and represented 114 percent of nonperforming loans. The allowances for possible losses on loans and other real estate owned totaled $9.7 million and represented 47 percent of nonperforming assets.
 James C. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said, "We are pleased to report continuous earnings improvement throughout 1991. Given our comparatively low level of nonperforming assets and our strong reserves, Webster is well prepared to meet the challenges of today's lower interest rate environment. We will continue to emphasize asset quality, recurring earnings and control of expenses in our efforts to enhance shareholder value."
 Webster Financial Corporation serves customers from 16 banking offices located in western and north central Connecticut. On Sept. 6, First Federal Bank, Webster's sole subsidiary, acquired the five banking offices of the former Suffield Bank in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) assisted transaction.
 Shareholders' equity at Dec. 31, 1991 of $64 million resulted in a book value of $20.18 per share based on 3,175,359 shares of common stock outstanding, an increase of 65 cents per share from a year earlier. Assets at Dec. 31, 1991 totaled $888 million compared to $704 million a year earlier. Loans amounted to $515 million compared to $492 million, and deposits were $729 million compared to $534 million at Dec. 31, 1990.
 WEBSTER FINANCIAL CORPORATION
 Condensed Financial Information
 ($ in thousands, except share data)
 Three months ended 12 months ended
 12/31/91 12/31/90 12/31/91 12/31/90
 STATEMENTS OF INCOME:
 Net interest income $6,270 $4,985 $23,048 $19,084
 Provision for loan losses 100 600 1,950 9,600
 Gain on sale of loans and
 investment securities, net 336 63 502 740
 Other noninterest income 1,129 630 3,471 2,528
 Income before expenses 7,635 5,078 25,071 12,752
 Noninterest expenses
 before OREO provision 4,323 3,369 15,329 13,564
 OREO provision for losses 2,346 300 4,283 300
 Total noninterest expenses 6,669 3,669 19,612 13,864
 Income before taxes 966 1,409 5,459 (1,112)
 Income taxes 19 684 2,057 1,624
 Net income (loss) $947 $725 $3,402 $(2,736)
 Net income (loss)
 per share 30 cents 22 cents $1.07 (79 cents)
 Cash dividends paid
 per share 13 cents 13 cents 52 cents 52 cents
 Weighted average
 common shares and
 equivalents (000s) 3,199 3,239 3,191 3,452
 BALANCE SHEET INFORMATION: 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Assets $888,341 $703,758
 Loans receivable, net 514,634 492,137
 Mortgage-backed securities 222,034 112,581
 Deposits 729,310 534,410
 Federal Home Loan Bank
 advances and other
 borrowings 68,072 88,591
 Total shareholders' equity 64,076 61,979
 Book value per share 20.18 19.53
 SELECTED FINANCIAL RATIOS
 AND OTHER INFORMATION:
 Loan originations $89,529 $88,040
 Allowance for possible loan losses 8,856 7,092
 Allowance for possible losses on
 Other Real Estate Owned 804 316
 Allowance for loan losses/
 nonperforming loans 114.34 pct 155.97 pct
 Allowances for loan and OREO
 losses/nonperforming assets 47.05 41.33
 Non-performing assets
 to total assets 2.31 2.46
 Return on average equity 5.39 (4.07)
 Interest rate spread 2.71 2.16
 Net yield on average
 earning assets 3.15 2.86
 Noninterest expense to
 average assets 2.53 1.99
 Noninterest expense less OREO provisions
 and expenses to average assets 1.92 1.93
 Equity to total assets 7.21 8.81
 Net interest income
 to noninterest expense 1.18x 1.37x
 -0- 12/28/92
 /CONTACT: James C. Smith of Webster Financial Corporation, 203-755-1422/
 (WBST) CO: Webster Financial Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: FIN SU: ERN


PB-EG -- NE014 -- 4389 01/28/92 16:08 EST
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Date:Jan 28, 1992
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