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 GREENVILLE, S.C., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Carolina First Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: CAFC) today announced the highest quarterly net income in its history. Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993, was $1,306,000, or $.25 per common share, for an increase of 58 percent over the $824,000, or $.19 per common share, earned a year earlier. Net income for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1993, increased 86 percent to $3,408,000, up from $1,832,000 for the first nine months of 1992. Net income per common share also rose to $.65 for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1993, from $0.46 for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992.
 On Sept. 30, 1993, Carolina First Corporation had total assets of $755 million, 50 percent more than a year ago. Carolina First had loans of $537 million at the end of the quarter and deposits of $652 million. Loans increased 39 percent over the year before, and deposits were up 44 percent.
 Mack I. Whittle Jr., president and chief executive officer of Carolina First Corporation, said: "At the beginning of 1993, we announced that one of our chief tasks for the year would be finding profitable uses for the deposits acquired along with the acquisition of the 13 Republic National Bank branches that we purchased in March. The third quarter results show that we succeeded.
 "The deposits acquired from Republic exceeded the loans acquired by approximately $175 million. During the second and third quarters of 1993, our loans increased nearly $90 million -- great progress in deploying the excess deposits. As a result, our net interest margin increased to 4.35 percent for the third quarter of 1993, up from 4.13 percent for the second quarter of 1993."
 Whittle continued: "I want to reiterate that our emphasis was not simply making loans, but making high quality loans. We attribute our success in this area to vigilant management of the credit quality of our loan portfolio. I am pleased to report that our credit quality measures remain outstanding. Nonperforming assets as a percentage of loans and foreclosed property at September 30, 1993, were .48 percent, and the level of net charge-offs to average loans was .28 percent for the nine months ended September 30, 1993."
 At September 30, 1993, total stockholders' equity was $62.3 million, compared with $44.2 million a year earlier, and market capitalization, including the preferred stock issues, was $77.5 million.
 Whittle commented: "Our stock price closed at $13.75 for the quarter, a new all-time high after adjustment for stock dividends. Since quarter end, on October 12, 1993, the Company's common stock reached another all-time high, after adjustment for stock dividends, with a closing price of $14.75. We are, of course, pleased with the recent performance of our common stock."
 Other highlights for the quarter included the announcement of an agreement to purchase the three branches of Omni Savings Bank (approximately $40 million in deposits), the grand opening of the regional headquarters office in Columbia, and the completion of the acquisition of First Sun Mortgage Corporation.
 Carolina First Corporation, headquartered in Greenville, offers a broad range of commercial, consumer and mortgage financial services through two subsidiaries, Carolina First Bank and Carolina First Savings Bank. Carolina First Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank that operates 23 branches throughout South Carolina. Carolina First Savings Bank, headquartered in Georgetown, is a federally chartered savings bank with eight branches in coastal South Carolina.
 Carolina First's preferred stock trades over-the-counter under the symbols CAFCP and CAFCO. Market makers include J.C. Bradford & Co., Interstate/Johnson Lane, Robinson Humphrey Co., Inc., Sterne Agee & Leach, and Wheat First Securities.
 -0- 10/13/93
 /CONTACT: William S. Hummers III of Carolina First, 803-255-7900/

CO: Carolina First Corporation ST: South Carolina IN: FIN SU: ERN

SB-JM -- CH012 -- 1775 10/13/93 14:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1993

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