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BARNETT EARNINGS RISE 58 PERCENT TO $58.5 MILLION IN THIRD QUARTER

 BARNETT EARNINGS RISE 58 PERCENT TO $58.5 MILLION IN THIRD QUARTER
 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) today reported third quarter earnings of $58.5 million, an increase of 58 percent from the $37.0 million earned a year ago. The company also said that non-performing assets dropped by $63 million during the quarter to their lowest level in almost two years.
 Per-share earnings at Florida's leading banking company were $.73 compared to $.51 a year earlier. A strong net interest margin, higher non-interest income, lower provision and continued expense control efforts were the significant factors in Barnett's highest quarterly earnings in more than two years.
 For the first nine months, Barnett earned $156.2 million, or $1.95 per share, up 85 percent from $84.5 million, or $1.21 per share, a year earlier.
 "Despite weak economic conditions and the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew, our earnings improvement remains on track while problem credits continue to shrink," said Charles E. Rice, chairman and chief executive officer. "Fundamentally, we feel very good about the progress of the company."
 While still assessing the impact of Hurricane Andrew, Barnett as a conservative measure added $12 million to its third quarter provision to cover possible loan losses resulting from the storm.
 Net interest income in the third quarter rose 14 percent from a year ago. The primary factor was an improved net yield on earning assets of 5.37 percent, compared to 4.74 percent a year earlier. Non-interest income excluding securities gains reported last year was up 10 percent from a year ago. This reflects increased fee income and continued strong results at Barnett's trust, securities and student loan processing affiliates.
 Non-interest expense was up 12 percent from a year ago, but was down $13 million from the second quarter. Excluding credit expenses, which are being driven by aggressive writedowns on foreclosed real estate, non-interest expense was up 7 percent from a year ago. So far this year, the company has chosen to take $28 million in writedowns beyond those required by its methodology. Non-interest expense also included $1.1 million in charitable contributions to aid victims of Hurricane Andrew and to help the rebuilding effort.
 Non-performing assets fell to $864 million on Sept. 30 compared to $941 million a year earlier. Non-performing assets were composed of $488 million in non-performing loans and $376 million in real estate owned, including $219 million of insubstance foreclosures. The company sold $48 million in real estate owned during the third quarter.
 The provision for loan losses dropped to $66 million in the third quarter from $80 million a year ago, while net charge-offs fell to $62 million from $79 million a year ago.
 Barnett's reserve for loan losses was $462 million, or 1.96 percent of total loans, on Sept. 30 compared to $450 million, or 1.91 percent, a year earlier. Barnett's reserve covers 95 percent of non-perfoming loans, up from 81 percent on June 30 and a year ago.
 Shareholders' equity rose to $2.2 billion on Sept. 30 from $2.0 billion a year earlier. In the last 12 months, the company's leverage ratio has increased to 6.15 percent from 5.47 percent. Its total risk- based capital ratio of approximately 12 percent is well above the 8 percent regulatory requirement.
 Reflecting current economic conditions, deposit and loan balances were little changed from last year.
 During the third quarter, shareholders of Barnett and First Florida Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FFBK), with $5.3 billion in assets, approved the merger of the two companies. The companies are waiting for regulatory approval and expect to close the transaction by yearend.
 With $32.6 billion in assets and 596 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett is Florida's leading financial institution and the 19th-largest in the United States. Its stock (BBI) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
 BARNETT BANKS, INC.
 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 Dollars In Millions Except Per Share Data
 Third Quarter Nine Months
 1992 1991 Change 1992 1991 Change
 INCOME/EXPENSE
 Net interest
 income (taxable-
 equivalent) $392.0 $343.9 14 pct. $1,136.6 $1,016.1 12pct.
 Provision for
 loan losses 65.5 80.0 (18) 183.7 281.6 (35)
 Non-interest
 income 126.1 119.1 6 379.8 352.6 8
 Non-interest
 expense 353.9 316.3 12 1,068.5 928.0 15
 Net income 58.5 37.0 58 156.2 84.5 85
 PER SHARE DATA
 Net Income $ .73 $ .51 43 pct. $ 1.95 $1.21 61 pct.
 Dividends
 declared .33 .33 -- .99 .99 --
 Common book
 value (A) 28.32 26.96 5 28.32 26.96 5
 KEY RATIOS (IN PERCENTS)
 Return on
 assets .73 .46 59 .64 .35 83
 Return on
 equity 10.73 8.20 31 9.86 6.64 48
 Net yield on
 earning assets 5.37 4.74 13 5.16 4.67 10
 Leverage ratio 6.15 5.47 12 6.15 5.47 12
 Shareholders'
 equity to
 assets (A) 7.06 6.45 9 7.06 6.45 9
 AVERAGE BALANCES
 Loans, net $23,603 $23,687 -- $23,588 $23,943 (1) pct.
 Securities 5,243 4,531 16 5,200 4,417 18
 Earning
 assets 29,196 29,093 -- 29,357 29,009 1
 Total assets 32,218 32,062 -- 32,441 32,008 1
 Interest-bearing
 deposits 24,435 24,943 (2) 24,703 24,894 (1)
 Demand
 deposits 3,863 3,373 15 3,843 3,438 12
 Interest-bearing
 liabilities 25,878 26,609 (3) 26,200 26,587 (1)
 Shareholders'
 equity 2,179 1,803 21 2,112 1,696 25
 PERIOD END
 Assets $32,565 $32,286 1
 Loans 23,593 23,521 --
 Deposits 28,672 28,505 1
 Shareholders' equity 2,181 1,955 12
 ASSET QUALITY
 Net charge-offs:
 Total $61.9 $78.9 (22) $170.7 $241.1 (29)
 As percent of
 average loans
 (annualized) 1.05 1.33 (21) .97 1.34 (28)
 Loan loss
 allowance:
 Total $461.7 $449.9 3
 As percent of
 period-end loans 1.96 1.91 3
 As percent of
 non-performing loans 95 81 17
 Non-performing assets:
 Total $864.1 $941.4 (8)
 Non-performing loans 488.5 558.3 (13)
 Other real estate owned 375.6 383.1 (2)
 Non-performing asset ratio 3.53 3.81 (7)
 (A) -- Computed based on equity before deduction of the employee
 stock ownership plan obligation.
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Stickler, (media), 904-791-5437 (office) or 904-396-9284 (home); or Helen Rowan, (analysts), 904-791-7627 (office) or 904-272-6915 (home), both of Barnett Banks, Inc./
 (BBI FFBK) CO: Barnett Banks, Inc.; First Florida Banks, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU: ERN


JB-JJ -- FL003 -- 9170 10/13/92 09:34 EDT
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Date:Oct 13, 1992
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