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COMMERCE BANCORP EARNINGS UP 39 PERCENT

 COMMERCE BANCORP EARNINGS UP 39 PERCENT
 CHERRY HILL, N.J., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Commerce Bancorp, Inc.


(NASDAQ: COBA) today reported record deposit and asset growth and continued improved operating results for 1991.
 Vernon W. Hill II, chairman of the multi-bank holding company based here, announced that the company's assets exceeded the $1 billion mark and net income exceeded $6 million, up 39 percent over 1990. Said Hill, "These are significant accomplishments for our company, particularly in view of the difficult operating environment during the past year." Hill further stated, "We are encouraged by our continued earnings improvement and apparent stabilization in the level of non-performing assets during the past three quarters as we return the company to its historical levels of profitability and asset quality."
 Total assets exceeded $1.057 billion, up from $934 million a year ago, a 13 percent increase. Total deposits increased to $987 million, a $120 million increase, or 14 percent above 1990 deposits of $867 million.
 Net income totalled $6,027,000 for 1991, up $1,683,000 or 39 percent over 1990 net income of $4,344,000. On a per share basis, net income was $1.08, up 57 percent over the $.69 recorded a year ago. For the fourth quarter, net income totaled $2,783,000 vs. $37,000 the prior year. During the fourth quarter, the company completed a restructuring of its investment portfolio. After-tax gains on the sale of securities of $1,995,000 were partially used to supplement the quarterly provision for loan losses.
 Net interest income for the year increased 7 percent from $35,984,000 to $38,391,000, while net interest income for the quarter increased 12 percent from $9,200,000 to $10,335,000.
 "We are also encouraged by the fact that non-performing assets are little changed from the three previous quarters, confirming our opinion that non-performing assets have apparently plateaued. However, much will depend upon continued improvements in the economy and we continue to make prudent additions to our allowance for loan losses." Non- performing assets and loans past due 90 days or more totalled $24,575,000 at year-end 1991 and represent 2.30 percent of total assets. During the fourth quarter, the company made loan loss provisions of $2,215,000 vs. $2,757,000 for the comparable period a year ago. For the year, loan loss provisions were $5,541,000 compared to $5,095,000 in 1990. At Dec. 31, 1991, the company's allowance for loan losses aggregated $8,899,000 representing 1.54 percent of total loans and providing a coverage ratio of 57 percent of non-performing loans.
 Shareholders' equity as a percent of total assets at Dec. 31, 1991, was 5.50 percent. The company's risk-based capital ratio, Tier 1 and Tier 2, were approximately 7.85 percent and 9.16 percent, and the leverage ratio was 5.08 percent, all of which were above regulatory guidelines.
 Hill stated that Commerce's underlying core financial strength and organizational resources have enabled it to expand its primary business and increasingly dominant market share despite the current economic recession.
 Commerce Bancorp, Inc. is a multi-bank holding company headquartered in Cherry Hill, with 30 branch offices serving Metropolitan Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.
 COMMERCE BANCORP, INC.
 Selected Consolidated Financial Data
 (Unaudited; in thousands, except per-share data)
 Periods ended Three months Twelve months
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 Pct. 1991 1990 Pct.
 Change Change
 Income statement
 data:
 Net interest
 income $10,335 $9,200 12 $38,391 $35,984 7
 Provision for
 loan losses 2,215 2,757 (20) 5,541 5,095 9
 Net income 2,783 37 7,422 6,027 4,344 39
 Per-share data(A):
 Net income --
 primary $.58 $(.09) 744 $1.08 $.69 57
 Net income --
 fully diluted .51 -- -- -- -- --
 Book value --
 primary -- -- -- $11.05 $10.21 --
 Book value --
 fully diluted -- -- -- 10.78 10.09 7
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding:
 Primary 4,155,670 4,097,442 -- 4,139,487 4,095,849 --
 Fully
 diluted 5,434,907 -- -- -- -- --
 Balance sheet data:
 Total assets -- -- -- $1,057,754 $934,343 13
 Loans (net) -- -- -- 569,381 547,289 4
 Allowance for loan
 losses -- -- -- 8,899 6,636 34
 Investments -- -- -- 343,146 186,583 84
 Federal funds sold -- -- -- 16,750 80,300 (79)
 Total deposits -- -- -- 987,053 866,940 14
 Long-term debt -- -- -- 7,034 7,500 (6)
 Stockholders'
 equity -- -- -- 58,170 54,262 7
 Capital:
 Stockholders' equity
 to total
 assets (pct.) -- -- -- 5.50 5.81 --
 Risk-based capital
 ratios:
 Tier 1 (pct.) -- -- -- 7.85 7.88 --
 Tier 2 (pct.) -- -- -- 9.16 8.94 --
 Leverage (pct.) 5.08 5.46 --
 (A) Fully diluted earnings per share for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 1990, and the 12-month periods ended Dec. 31, 1991, and 1990, are not shown because the results are anti-dilutive.
 The following summary presents information regarding non-performing loans and assets as of Dec. 31, 1991, and the preceding four quarters (dollar amounts in thousands):
 Dec. 31, Sept. 30, June 30, March 31, Dec. 31,
 1991 1991 1991 1991 1990
 Non-accrual loans:
 Commercial $3,669 $4,859 $4,060 $3,853 $3,211
 Consumer 1,778 1,010 998 819 498
 Real estate:
 Construction 3,555 3,135 3,747 3,896 2,282
 Mortgage 6,674 10,649 10,483 10,290 8,045
 Total non-accrual
 loans 15,676 19,653 19,288 18,858 14,036
 Restructured loans:
 Commercial 37 38 69 81 84
 Consumer -- -- -- -- --
 Real estate:
 Construction -- -- -- -- --
 Mortgage -- -- 203 203 203
 Total restructured
 loans 37 38 272 284 287
 Total non-performing
 loans 15,713 19,691 19,560 19,142 14,323
 Assets acquired in
 foreclosure 8,075 3,800 3,924 3,646 3,373
 Total non-performing
 assets 23,788 23,491 23,484 22,788 17,696
 Loans past due 90
 days or more 787 1,416 1,376 2,132 1,586
 Total non-performing
 assets and loans past
 due 90 days or more 24,575 24,907 24,860 24,920 19,282
 Total non-performing
 loans as a percentage
 of total period-end
 loans (pct.) 2.72 3.45 3.49 3.44 2.59
 Total non-performing
 assets as a percentage
 of total period-end
 assets (pct.) 2.23 2.18 2.27 2.45 1.88
 Total non-performing
 assets and loans past
 due 90 days or more as
 a percentage of total
 period-end assets
 (pct.) 2.30 2.31 2.40 2.68 2.05
 Allowance for loan losses
 as a percentage of total
 non-performing loans
 (pct.) 57 41 41 38 46
 Allowance for loan losses
 as a percentage of total
 period-end loans
 (pct.) 1.54 1.40 1.43 1.32 1.20
 Total non-performing
 assets and loans past
 due 90 days or more as
 a percentage of
 stockholders' equity
 and allowance for loan
 losses (pct.) 37 39 40 41 32
 The following table presents, for the period indicated, an analysis of the allowance for loan losses and other related data (in thousands):
 Year ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Balance at beginning of period $6,636 $3,787
 Provisions charged to
 operating expenses 5,541 5,095
 Total 12,177 8,882
 Recoveries on loans charged-off:
 Commercial 129 107
 Consumer 80 67
 Real estate 3 6
 Total recoveries 212 180
 Loans charged-off:
 Commercial (2,035) (1,124)
 Consumer (693) (434)
 Real estate (762) (868)
 Total charged-off (3,490) (2,426)
 Net charge-offs (3,278) (2,246)
 Balance at end of period $8,899 $6,636
 Net charge-offs to
 average loans (pct.) 0.58 0.41
 Allowance for loan losses as a
 percent of period-end loans (pct.) 1.54 1.20
 /delval/
 -0- 1/16/92
 /CONTACT: Vernon W. Hill II, chairman and president, or C. Edward Jordan Jr., executive vp, of Commerce Bancorp, 609-751-9000/
 (COBA) CO: Commerce Bancorp, Inc. ST: New Jersey, Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ERN


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Date:Jan 16, 1992
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