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BARNETT EARNINGS SET NEW PER-SHARE RECORD

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) today reported that third quarter earnings set a new per- share record for the company. Earnings rose 56 percent to $111.1 million, or $1.06 per fully diluted share, from $71.3 million, or $.69 per share, a year ago.
 Earnings also represented a record 1.21 percent return on assets and a 16.09 percent return on shareholders' equity.
 Substantial cuts in expenses to below levels of a year earlier as well as continuing improvement in credit quality were the major factors. Net charge-offs fell to a four-year low. The provision for potential loan losses also declined and non-performing assets again were cut substantially.
 For the first nine months of 1993, Barnett earned $307.7 million, or $2.93 per fully diluted share, a 53 percent increase from $201.5 million, or $1.95 per share, in the same period of 1992.
 "We are pleased to have exceeded our previous quarterly earnings-per- share peak of $1.03 on an originally reported basis in the fourth quarter of 1989," said Charles E. Rice, Barnett's chairman and chief executive officer. "Cost-savings from our First Florida merger were a major factor in accelerating our earnings improvement to record levels. Our programs to increase productivity, improve credit quality, and increase fee income are all contributing to enhanced shareholder value."
 Non-interest expense was 8 percent below a year ago, primarily due to lower salary and benefit costs as well as reduced writedowns on real estate owned due to steadied commercial real estate markets. Barnett reduced its overhead ratio to 64 percent in the third quarter, from 65 percent in the second quarter and 71 percent during all of 1992.
 Net charge-offs of $27.4 million represented an annualized .42 percent of total loans and were 57 percent below a year ago. Provision expense dropped 65 percent from last year to $23.8 million. Barnett's reserve for potential loan losses was $537 million on Sept. 30, representing 2.07 percent of total loans and 140 percent of non-performing loans.
 Non-performing assets were down 39 percent from a year ago and 13 percent from the second quarter to $597 million on Sept. 30. This represented a drop of $375 million from a year earlier. Non-performing assets were 2.26 percent of total loans and other real estate owned on Sept. 30.
 Net interest income was $422 million. The company's net interest margin was 5.09 percent, down slightly from 5.10 percent in the second quarter and a reduction from 5.27 percent a year earlier.
 Non-interest income continued to rise, increasing 5 percent from a year earlier to $152 million. Fees earned through trust, brokerage and mortgage banking grew.
 Total loans were $25.9 billion on Sept. 30, up slightly from June 30, but down 1 percent from a year earlier primarily as the result of a reduction in commercial real estate and commercial balances. Residential mortgage balances rose by $542 million, while consumer loans were up $656 million over the last 12 months.
 "Commercial real estate loans have continued to fall in the absence of good opportunities to make new loans in that area," Rice said. "Commercial loan balances have declined as larger corporate borrowers have reduced debt or found cheaper sources of funding. However, our small business initiative has generated more than $150 million in loans and commitments this year."
 Deposits also rose slightly to $32.6 billion on Sept. 30 from June 30, but were down 1 percent from a year ago. Customers continued to favor transaction and money market accounts over certificates of deposit.
 During the quarter, the company sold its student loan servicing and origination units. Since the acquiring company will originate and service loans for Barnett, the bank will continue to be the major source for student loans in its markets but will increase its portfolio of those profitable assets more efficiently.
 With $37 billion in assets and 632 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett Banks, Inc. is the leading financial institution in Florida and the 19th-largest in the United States. The company's 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
 1993 1992 Change 1993 1992 Change
 INCOME/EXPENSE
 Net Interest
 Income (Taxable-
 Equivalent) $421.7 $444.4 (5) pct. $1,286.4 $1,293.9 (1) pct.
 Provision for
 Loan Losses 23.8 67.5 (65) 101.6 195.2 (48)
 Non-Interest
 Income, Exclud-
 ing Securities
 Transactions 152.4 144.8 5 453.4 432.2 5
 Securities
 Transactions (.4) (.3) (7) (1.4) 22.6 ---
 Non-Interest
 Expense 368.4 402.5 (8) 1,141.7 1,220.7 (6)
 Net Income 111.1 71.3 56 307.7 201.5 53
 PER SHARE DATA
 Net Income --
 Fully Diluted $ 1.06 $ .69 54 pct. $ 2.93 $ 1.95 50 pct.
 Net Income --
 Primary 1.08 .69 57 2.99 1.95 53
 Dividends
 Declared .36 .33 9 1.05 .99 6
 Common Book
 Value (A) 27.48 25.68 7 27.48 25.68 7
 KEY RATIOS (IN PERCENTS)
 Return on
 Assets 1.21 .76 59 1.09 .71 54
 Return on
 Equity 16.09 11.16 44 15.26 10.85 41
 Net Yield on
 Earning Assets 5.09 5.27 (3) 5.10 5.09 ---
 Overhead Ratio 64.16 68.31 (6) 65.62 70.72 (7)
 Leverage Ratio 7.09 6.32 12 7.09 6.32 12
 Shareholders'
 Equity to
 Assets (A) 7.75 7.06 10 7.75 7.06 10
 AVERAGE BALANCES
 Loans, Net $25,795 $26,219 (2) pct. $25,824 $26,293 (2) pct.
 Earning
 Assets 33,094 33,723 (2) 33,613 33,867 (1)
 Total Assets 36,785 37,540 (2) 37,463 37,795 (1)
 Total Deposits 32,045 32,738 (2) 32,649 33,122 (1)
 Interest-Bearing
 Liabilities 28,337 29,929 (5) 29,018 30,267 (4)
 Shareholders'
 Equity 2,763 2,556 8 2,689 2,476 9
 PERIOD END
 Assets $37,337 $38,023 (2) pct.
 Loans 25,911 26,213 (1)
 Deposits 32,634 33,103 (1)
 Shareholders' Equity 2,787 2,565 9
 ASSET QUALITY
 Net Charge-offs:
 Total $27.4 $63.5 (57) pct. $112.4 $186.0 (40) pct.
 As Percent of
 Average Loans
 (Annualized)
 (in percents .42 .97 (57) .58 .94 (38)
 Loan Loss
 Allowance:
 Total $536.7 $561.9 (4)
 As Percent of
 Period-end Loans 2.07 2.14 (3)
 As Percent of
 Non-performing Loans 140 103 36
 Non-performing Assets:
 Total $597.2 $972.3 (39)
 Non-performing Loans 382.9 543.9 (30)
 Other Real Estate Owned 214.3 428.4 (50)
 Non-performing Asset Ratio (in percents) 2.26 3.58 (37)
 (A) -- Computed based on equity before deduction of the employee
 stock ownership plan obligation.
 -0- 10/12/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Stickler (media), 904-791-5437 or 904-396-9284 (home), or Susan Friloux (analysts), 904-791-7627 or 904-246-2965 (home), both of Barnett Banks, Inc./
 (BBI)


CO: Barnett Banks, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU: ERN

RK-AW -- FL002 -- 0971 10/12/93 09:41 EDT
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Date:Oct 12, 1993
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