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BARNETT EARNS $275 MILLION BEFORE RESTRUCTURING CHARGE; NON-PERFORMING ASSETS FALL SHARPLY

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) today reported 1992 earnings, consolidated with First Florida Banks, Inc., of $275.1 million, or $2.68 per share, before a special restructuring charge arising from the merger of the two companies. Including that charge, the combined companies recorded net income of $207.7 million, or $1.97 per share. That was more than double the $81.4 million, or $.80 per share, they earned in 1991.
 Excluding First Florida's results and the restructuring charge, Barnett earned $221.6 million, or $2.77 per share.
 Florida's leading banking company also said that non-performing assets fell $129 million, of 13 percent, during the fourth quarter to their lowest level since 1990. Barnett's net charge-offs were 39 percent below the levels of 1991 resulting in provision expense that was 43 percent lower in 1992.
 All data for current and prior periods are reported on a restated basis, combining the results of Barnett and First Florida which merged on Dec. 7, 1992. The merger was accounted for as a pooling of interests.
 "The year was one of the most significant in Barnett history," said Charles E. Rice, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our earnings recovery accelerated, credit quality improved significantly and we completed the largest acquisition in our history. We are on track toward combining the office networks of First Florida and Barnett to better serve our Florida customers. Our staff is confident that they can achieve the cost savings we have projected, making the transaction accretive in 1993 and beyond."
 For the fourth quarter, the combined company earned $73.6 million or $.71 per share, before the restructuring charge. Including that charge, the company's net income was $6.2 million, or $.02 per share, compared to $44.1 million, or $.43 per share, a year earlier. Excluding the results of First Florida and the restructuring charge, Barnett earned $61.1 million, or $.76 per share, in the latest quarter.
 Fourth quarter and annual results included a $92.6 million pre-tax restructuring charge to cover costs arising from Barnett's merger with First Florida such as office consolidations and other acquisition- related expenses. The company also adopted SFAS 106, which requires new accounting standards for post-retirement benefits, and SFAS 109, which changes accounting standards for income taxes. The net impact of those accounting changes was less than $1 million.
 For the year, net interest income rose 11 percent. The most significant factor was a stronger net yield on earning assets which rose to 5.11 percent from 4.60 percent in 1991.
 Non-interest income increased 16 percent, paced by a substantial rise in mortgage originations, increased fees from a variety of bank services and strong results at Barnett's trust and brokerage units.
 Non-interest expense was up 11 percent from a year ago, excluding the restructuring charge. These expenses included a $29 million increase in credit-related expenses, of which $23 million represented writedowns of foreclosed properties beyond those required by the company's methodology.
 Non-performing assets fell by $255 million during the year to $843 million on Dec. 31. Non-performing assets were composed of $480 million in non-performing loans and $363 million in real estate owned, including $217 million of in substance foreclosures. The company sold $240 million in foreclosed real estate during the year, including $84 million in the fourth quarter.
 Separating results at the two companies, non-performing assets fell $141 million at Barnett Banks during the fourth quarter while rising $12 million at First Florida. The increase at First Florida resulted from adoption of Barnett's non-accrual policies. All of the adjustments were for loans that are current of less than 90 days past due.
 The combined net charge-offs fell to $262 million in 1992 from $432 million a year ago resulting in the provision for loan losses dropping to $257 million from $454 million a year earlier.
 Barnett's reserve for loan losses was $548 million, or 2.10 percent of total loans, on Dec. 31. The reserve covered 114 percent of non- performing loans on Dec. 31, up from 85 percent a year earlier.
 Shareholders' equity was $2.6 billion at year-end, an increase from $2.3 billion a year earlier. In the last 12 months, the company's leverage ratio has increased to 6.18 percent from 5.54 percent. All capital ratios significantly exceed regulatory requirements and all bank subsidiaries qualify as well-capitalized under the new FDIC definition.
 Reflecting the slow economic recovery, total deposit and loan balances were little changed from last year. However, the company did experience a modest increase in deposits during the fourth quarter.
 "Barnett has been successful in introducing a broader range of investment products such as our Emerald family of mutual funds to satisfy those customers looking for higher yields," Rice said.
 "Mortgage lending was strong all year," he continued. "We also begin to see a pick-up in consumer lending in the fourth quarter. We believe that as the economy strengthens this year we will see both consumer and commercial loan volume rise."
 With $39 billion in assets and 734 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett is Florida's leading financial institution and the 17th-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
 Fourth Quarter 12 Months
 1992 1991 Change 1992 1991 Change
 INCOME/EXPENSE
 Net interest
 income (taxable-
 equivalent) $439.9 $398.3 10 pct. $1,733.8 $1,568.0 11pct.
 Provision for
 loan losses 62.1 78.0 (20) 257.3 453.9 (43)
 Non-interest
 income 171.9 136.4 26 637.0 546.8 16
 Non-interest
 expense (excluding
 restructuring
 charge) 428.4 383.1 12 1,659.5 1,497.1 11
 Restructuring
 charge 92.6 --- --- 92.6 --- ---
 Earnings before
 restructuring
 charge 73.6 44.1 67 275.1 81.4 238
 Net income 6.2 44.1 (86) 207.7 81.4 155
 PER SHARE DATA
 Net Income $ .02 $ .43 (95)pct. $ 1.97 $ .80 146 pct.
 Earnings before
 restructuring
 charge .71 .43 65 2.68 .80 235
 Dividends
 declared .33 .33 --- 1.32 1.32 ---
 Common book
 value (A) 25.40 24.19 5 25.40 24.19 5
 KEY RATIOS (IN PERCENTS)
 Return on assets
 before
 restructuring
 charge .77 .46 67 .73 .21 248
 Return on
 assets .06 .46 (87) .55 .21 162
 Return on equity
 before
 restructuring
 charge 11.27 7.63 48 10.96 3.83 186
 Return on equity .94 7.63 (88) 8.27 3.83 116
 Net yield on
 earning assets 5.17 4.65 11 5.11 4.60 11
 Leverage ratio 6.18 5.54 12 6.18 5.54 12
 Shareholders'
 equity to
 assets (A) 6.77 6.34 7 6.77 6.34 7
 AVERAGE BALANCES
 Loans, net $26,064 $26,484 (2)pct. $26,236 $27,201 (4) pct.
 Earning
 assets 34,052 34,243 (1) 33,914 34,118 (1)
 Total assets 38,305 38,163 --- 37,923 37,900 ---
 Total deposits 33,518 33,411 --- 33,221 33,338 ---
 Interest-bearing
 liabilities 29,995 31,099 (4) 30,199 31,115 (3)
 Shareholders'
 equity 2,613 2,312 13 2,511 2,128 18
 PERIOD END
 Assets $39,465 $38,491 3 pct.
 Loans 26,051 26,422 (1)
 Deposits 34,689 33,850 2
 Shareholders' equity 2,556 2,314 10
 ASSET QUALITY
 Net charge-offs:
 Total $76.3 $85.5 (11) pct. $262.2 $432.3 (39) pct.
 As percent of
 average loans
 (annualized) 1.17 1.29 (9) 1.00 1.59 (37)
 Loan loss
 allowance:
 Total $547.7 $552.1 (1)
 As percent of
 period-end loans 2.10 2.09 ---
 As percent of
 non-performing loans 114 85 34
 Non-performing assets:
 Total $843.3 $1,098.5 (23)
 Non-performing loans 480.2 649.8 (26)
 Other real estate owned 363.1 448.7 (19)
 Non-performing asset ratio (in percents) 3.14 3.97 (21)
 (A) -- Computed based on equity before deduction of the employee
 stock ownership plan obligation.
 -0- 1/14/93
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: Charles W. Newman, Barnett's chief financial officer, will hold a teleconference at 2 p.m. to discuss the company's financial results. To participate, interested media representatives should call 612-894-2384 shortly before 2 p.m.
 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)


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

JB-SS -- FL002 -- 4737 01/14/93 09:36 EST
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