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CORESTATES FINISHES 1991 WITH SOLID RESULTS; NET IS $1.11 PER SHARE FOR QUARTER, $4.19 FOR YEAR

 CORESTATES FINISHES 1991 WITH SOLID RESULTS;
 NET IS $1.11 PER SHARE FOR QUARTER, $4.19 FOR YEAR
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- CoreStates Financial Corp (NASDAQ: CSFN) today reported net income of $60,694,000 or $1.11 per share for the fourth quarter and $228,135,000 or $4.19 per share for the full year 1991.
 The results reflected an $87 million pre-tax gain on the sale of $1 billion of out-of-region credit card outstandings, largely offset by one-time writedowns and provisions to revalue certain real estate holdings and bank stock investments, and to provide for costs of systems enhancements and streamlining business operations.
 Non-performing assets declined for the second consecutive quarter and CoreStates said it expected further declines in 1992.
 A year ago, CoreStates reported a fourth quarter loss of $72,730,000 or $1.33 per share, and full year 1990 net income applicable to common stock of $112,500,000 or $2.06 per share.
 "We are reporting earnings that represent the solid operating results achieved by CoreStates' people during a difficult and uncertain 1991," said Terrence A. Larsen, chairman.
 "In addition, we are reporting a number of actions we have taken that will deliver lasting benefits to shareholders in the form of sound asset values and investments in more efficient and flexible operations," he said.
 The 1991 net income represented a return on average assets of 1.12 percent for the fourth quarter and 1.03 percent for the year, and a return on average equity of 15.56 percent for the quarter and 15.63 percent for the year. In 1990 CoreStates had a return on average assets of .50 percent and a return on average common equity of 7.68 percent.
 Larsen said the 1991 fourth quarter earnings "result from fundamentally strong underlying operations that were, however, affected by lingering impacts of the 1990-91 recession."
 Net interest income declined slightly from the 1990 quarter on reduced volume that reflected weak loan demand and the sale of the credit card outstandings in October. The company's net financial margin was down by 11 basis points from the third quarter of 1991, but up 24 basis points from a year ago at a strong 5.64 percent.
 Despite a large drop in credit card fee income as a result of the portfolio sale, CoreStates' total fourth quarter revenues from fee-based services were up more than 12 percent from a year earlier, and full-year revenues from fee-based services were up 19 percent over 1990.
 Total non-performing assets declined by $43 million to $447 million, the second consecutive quarterly decline.
 Net charge-offs also declined from $59 million in the third quarter to $40 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $55 million a year earlier. Much of the decline resulted from the reduction in the credit card portfolio.
 Larsen said CoreStates anticipates further declines in both non-performing assets and charge-offs during 1992.
 The greatest area of weakness continues to be related to declining real estate values, Larsen said, though the total of non-performing real estate assets declined $11 million in the quarter as a result of payments and charge-offs.
 The total of non-performing highly leveraged transaction (HLT) loans dropped from $90 million at Sept. 30 to $63 million at Dec. 31 primarily as a result of payments and charge-offs.
 The loan loss provision for the quarter was $45 million, compared to a total provision of $220 million in the fourth quarter of 1990. Larsen said that because of the reduced size of the credit card portfolio, the provision would have dropped to $30 million had the company not elected to maintain it at the third quarter level to improve its coverage ratios in light of current economic uncertainties.
 Besides this added measure of prudence in its loan loss provision, CoreStates reported one-time charges including:
 -- $26 million in write-offs for real estate foreclosed or in process of foreclosure;
 -- $11 million to write down CoreStates' portfolio of bank stocks held as investments;
 -- smaller charges totaling $35 million for costs to upgrade systems, streamline operations, and write off certain old equipment and other assets no longer needed in streamlined business operations.
 The $26 million write-off of foreclosed and in-substance foreclosed real estate was designated to bring the book value of this category to realizable values in a still-weakening market.
 CoreStates has held a portfolio of bank stocks as investments for many years, and in some years during the 1980s, reported profits on sales of some of the stocks. Including the $11 million in the fourth quarter, CoreStates has written down this portfolio by $23 million during 1991 to reflect changes in value due to other than temporary conditions.
 CoreStates' consolidated total assets at Dec. 31 were $21.6 billion, including consolidated net loans of $15 billion. Consolidated total deposits were $16 billion. Shareholders' equity was $1.5 billion, representing 7.1 percent of assets. CoreStates' Tier 1 leverage ratio (Tier 1 or core capital as a percentage of quarterly average assets) was 6.8 percent for the fourth quarter.
 CORESTATES FINANCIAL CORP
 (in thousands, except per share amounts)
 Three months ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Net income (loss) applicable to
 common stock $60,594 $(72,730)
 Per common share $1.11 $(1.33)
 Average number of shares outstanding 54,681 54,309
 Twelve months ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Net income before preferred dividends $228,135 $114,035
 Dividends on preferred stock --- (1,535)
 Net income applicable to common stock $228,135 $112,500
 Per common share $4.19 $2.06
 Average number of shares outstanding 54,468 54,555
 /delval/
 -0- 1/22/92
 /CONTACT: Gary Brooten or Greg Feistman of CoreStates Financial, 215-973-3546/
 (CSFN) CO: CoreStates Financial Corp ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ERN


CC-MP -- PH002 -- 3102 01/22/92 08:40 EST
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