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BARNETT EARNS A RECORD $92 MILLION IN FIRST QUARTER

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) today reported record earnings of $92.3 million for the first quarter, a 37 percent increase over $67.6 million a year ago. Excluding securities gains recorded in last year's first quarter, earnings rose 76 percent.
 First-quarter earnings represented $.88 per fully diluted share this year compared to $.66 in 1992.
 While operating revenues grew by 4 percent, non-interest expense was held below last years level. Sharply lower net charge-offs, provision expense and credit-related expenses were major factors in the record performance. Non-performing assets dropped by $59 million during the quarter and were down $320 million from a year ago.
 "We are pleased with these results which show that we are making significant progress toward such goals as strengthening credit quality, improving efficiency and creating an even stronger balance sheet," said Charles E. Rice, Barnett's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are encouraged by our positive momentum."
 First-quarter earnings represented a .97 percent return on assets and a 14.12 percent return on average shareholders' equity.
 Net interest income grew 4 percent to $437 million, as the company's net yield on earnings assets rose to 5.12 percent from 4.99 percent a year earlier. Non-interest income, excluding securities transactions, continued to rise, increasing 6 percent to $149 million. Mortgage originations continued to be strong, as were sales of fee-based products such as mutual funds and other investment products.
 Non-interest expense was below last year's level, as writedowns of real estate owned dropped due to steadying commercial real estate markets. This expense declined despite the company's taking $8 million in writedowns beyond those required by its methodology. Increased revenues and lower expenses resulted in Barnett's overhead ratio dropping to 67.5 percent in the first quarter from 71.2 percent in 1992.
 Non-performing assets totaled $785 million on March 31, a drop of $59 million from Dec. 31. Non-performing assets consisted of $454 million in non-performing loans, 41 percent of which were less than 90 days past due, and $331 million in other real estate owned. Non- performing assets represented 2.96 percent of total loans and other real estate owned on March 31.
 Net charge-offs of $50.5 million represented an annualized .78 percent of total loans and were 25 percent below a year ago. Provision expense dropped 43 percent from last year to $43.2 million. Barnett's reserve for potential loan losses was $540 million on March 31, representing 2.09 percent of total loans and 119 percent of non- performing loans.
 Total loans were $25.8 billion on March 31, down 2 percent from a year ago. Commercial and commercial real estate balances dropped while consumer loans grew 6 percent. Deposits declined 1 percent to $33.3 billion, as some customers switched to higher-yielding alternatives such as Barnett's Emerald family of mutual funds.
 "Installment lending picked up in the first quarter," Rice said. "The economy is improving in our markets, and we are working to increase our lending, especially to small businesses and individuals."
 Barnett continued to build its strong capital ratios in the quarter. Total risk-based capital exceeded 12 percent on March 31 and the leverage ratio was 6.40 percent. Both easily exceed regulatory requirements.
 In March, First Florida Bank, N.A. was consolidated into various Barnett Banks by combining the two companies' office networks and operating systems. This complex conversion occurred only three months after the legal merger. While some cost savings from this merger are reflected in first-quarter results, the bulk of the savings are expected over the remainder of the year.
 With $38 billion in assets and 635 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett is the leading financial institution in Florida and the 18th- 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
 First Quarter
 1993 1992 Change
 INCOME/EXPENSE
 Net interest income
 (taxable-equivalent) $436.7 $421.4 4 pct.
 Provision for
 loan losses 43.2 76.1 (43)
 Non-interest income,
 excluding securities
 transactions 149.0 141.0 6
 Securities transactions (.2) 23.3 ---
 Non-interest expense 395.4 400.2 (1)
 Net income 92.3 67.6 37
 PER SHARE DATA
 Net income -- fully
 diluted $ .88 $ .66 33 pct.
 Net income -- primary .90 .66 36
 Dividends declared .33 .33 ---
 Common book
 value (A) 26.02 24.86 5
 KEY RATIOS (IN PERCENTS)
 Return on assets .97 .71 37
 Return on equity 14.12 11.43 24
 Net yield on
 earning assets 5.12 4.99 3
 Overhead ratio 67.50 71.17 (5)
 Leverage ratio 6.40 6.00 7
 Shareholders' equity
 to assets (A) 7.19 6.76 6
 AVERAGE BALANCES
 Loans, net $ 25,863 $ 26,264 (2) pct.
 Earning assets 34,180 33,758 1
 Total assets 38,149 37,816 1
 Total deposits 33,227 33,306 ---
 Interest-bearing
 liabilities 29,800 30,493 (2)
 Shareholders' equity 2,615 2,364 11
 PERIOD END
 Assets $ 38,079 $ 38,319 (1) pct.
 Loans 25,789 26,378 (2)
 Deposits 33,341 33,817 (1)
 Shareholders' equity 2,627 2,467 6
 ASSET QUALITY
 Net charge-offs:
 Total $ 50.5 $ 67.3 (25) pct.
 As percent of average
 loans (annualized) .78 1.03 (24)
 Loan loss allowance:
 Total $ 540.1 $ 560.9 (4)
 As percent of
 period-end loans 2.09 2.13 (2)
 As percent of
 non-performing loans 119 82 45
 Non-performing assets:
 Total $ 784.6 $ 1,104.9 (29)
 Non-performing loans 453.6 682.2 (34)
 Other real estate owned 331.0 422.7 (22)
 Non-performing asset
 ratio (in percents) 2.96 4.02 (26)
 (A) -- Computed based on equity before deduction of the employee
 stock ownership plan obligation.
 -0- 4/12/93
 /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-MM -- FL001 -- 4652 04/12/93 09:32 EDT
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