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CITIZENS FIRST BANCORP, INC. REPORTS 111 PERCENT INCREASE IN THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS; FIVE-FOLD IMPROVEMENT FOR NINE MONTHS

 GLEN ROCK, N.J., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Citizens First Bancorp, Inc. (ASE: CFB) today reported third quarter earnings of $6,661,000, a 111 percent increase over the $3,154,000 net income in the comparable 1992 period.
 Allan D. Nichols, chairman and chief executive officer of the holding company and its subsidiary, Citizens First National Bank of New Jersey, said net income for the first nine months of 1993 was $28,045,000, more than five times the $5,183,000 earned in the comparable period last year.
 Nichols said earnings per share were 13 cents for the third quarter and 56 cents for the first nine months of 1993. In the comparable 1992 periods, approximately half as many shares were outstanding, and earnings per share were 14 cents for the quarter and 23 cents for the first nine months.
 Third quarter earnings for 1993 include $3.0 million in gains from the sale of securities. Nine-month results for 1993 include $7.2 million of income in the first quarter resulting from a change in accounting principle.
 Nichols reported that net interest income for the first nine months improved by $10 million, or 15 percent, from the comparable 1992 period. Non-interest income, exclusive of gains from the sale of securities, rose by 40.7 percent on a year-to-date basis from the same 1992 period.
 The Chairman noted that the company's rebuilding strategies were "producing positive results on all fronts, particularly in the area of non-performing asset reduction. At the end of the third quarter", Nichols said, "non-performing assets totaled $122.6 million, a 21.3 percent decrease from the prior quarter and a 33.9 percent decrease in the last 12 months."
 "The company's success in this area accelerated in the most recent quarter," Nichols said, "through the sale of $42 million of loans and foreclosed real estate to an investor. As a result of this sale, the level of the bank's non-performing assets was reduced by approximately $28 million."
 "Offsetting the cash received and the non-performing asset reduction, the sale generated a charge to the bank's existing allowance for loan losses of $15 million and a charge to earnings of $3 million," the chairman said. The bank's allowance for loan losses now stands at 3.65 percent of total loans and 80.56 percent of non-performing loans.
 "Our earnings performance has produced an annualized return on average assets of 1.13 percent and an annualized return on average shareholders' equity of 15.73 percent as of September 30, 1993, exclusive of the benefit derived from the change in accounting principle," Nichols commented. "These figures compare very favorably to the 0.28 percent return on average assets and the 7.81 percent return on equity we reported 12 months ago," he said.
 "Our growing capital base and our consistent core earnings have positioned us to broaden and intensify our initiatives in the consumer banking, business banking and trust markets within the communities we serve," Nichols observed.
 Total assets at September 30, 1993 stood at $2.504 billion, and total deposits were $2.263 billion at that date, Nichols said. Total loans at September 30, 1993 were $1.738 billion.
 Citizens First operates a 50-branch network in Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Hudson and Ocean Counties.
 CITIZENS FIRST BANCORP, INC.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 For the quarter ended September 30
 1993 1992
 Income before
 extraordinary credit $6,661 $1,580
 Extraordinary credit -- 1,574 (1)
 Net Income $6,661 $3,154
 Per Common Share:
 Primary
 Income before
 extraordinary credit $.13 $.07
 Extraordinary credit -- .07 (1)
 Net Income $.13 $.14
 Fully Diluted
 Income before
 extraordinary credit $.13 $.07
 Extraordinary credit -- .07 (1)
 Net Income $.13 $.14 (3)
 Return on average assets (4) 1.07 percent .52 percent
 Return on shareholders'
 equity (4) 14.29 13.80
 Net interest margin 4.71 4.30
 Nine months ended September 30
 1993 1992
 Income before
 extraordinary credit
 and change in accounting
 principle $20,877 $3,325
 Extraordinary credit -- 1,858 (1)
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle 7,168 (2) --
 Net Income $28,045 $5,183
 Per Common Share:
 Primary
 Income before extraordinary
 credit and change in
 accounting principle $.41 $.15
 Extraordinary credit -- .08 (1)
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle .15 (2) --
 Net Income $.56 $.23
 Fully Diluted
 Income before extraordinary
 credit and change in accounting
 principle $.41 $.15
 Extraordinary credit -- .08 (1)
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle .14 (2) --
 Net Income $.55 $.23 (3)
 Book value - September 30 $3.80 $3.16
 Return on average assets (4) 1.13 percent .28 percent
 Return on average shareholders'
 equity (4) 15.73 7.81
 Net interest margin 4.66 4.17
 (1) Tax benefit arising from utilization of net operating loss carryforward.
 (2) Adoption of SFAS No. 109 "Accounting for Income Taxes"
 (3) Convertible securities have no dilutive effect for the period.
 (4) Annualized; based on income before extraordinary credit and\or change in accounting principle.
 CITIZENS FIRST BANCORP, INC.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (dollars in thousands)
 Balance Sheet Data 1993 1992
 At September 30
 Assets $2,504,245 $2,438,960
 Deposits 2,263,188 2,233,087
 Total loans 1,738,191 1,714,653
 Shareholders' equity 190,953 158,954
 Selected Ratios
 Shareholders' equity to
 total assets 7.63 percent 6.52 percent
 Leverage capital ratio 7.26 6.36
 Tier 1 capital to
 risk-weighted assets 10.80 8.77
 Total capital to risk-
 weighted assets 13.19 11.16
 Asset Quality
 Nonperforming assets $122,564 $185,377
 Nonperforming assets as a
 percentage of total loans
 & foreclosed real estate 6.88 percent 10.40 percent
 Nonperforming loans as a
 percentage of total loans 4.54 6.90
 Allowance for Loan Losses
 Balance at September 30, $63,507 $77,257
 As a percentage of:
 Total loans 3.65 percent 4.51 percent
 Nonperforming loans 80.56 65.32
 -0- 10/19/93
 /CONTACT: Allan D. Nichols, chairman of Citizens First, 201-670-2203/
 (CFB)


CO: Citizens First Bancorp ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU: ERN

LG -- NY080 -- 4078 10/19/93 14:46 EDT
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Date:Oct 19, 1993
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