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CRAGIN REPORTS RECORD $36.7 MILLION IN ANNUAL EARNINGS

 CHICAGO, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Cragin Financial Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: CRGN), the parent holding company of Cragin Federal Bank for Savings, today announced record earnings for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1992. Earnings for the 1992 fourth quarter were $10.0 million, or $0.67 per share, and for the year, $36.7 million, or $2.39 a share, an all-time high for Cragin. For the comparable 1991 fourth quarter and annual periods, net income was $8.2 million, or $0.51 a share, and $26.4 million, or $1.64 a share, respectively. Earnings per share amounts for both 1992 and 1991 have been restated for the effect of the company's 3-for-2 stock split distributed on Dec. 28, 1992.
 The substantial improvement in earnings is primarily attributable to the strong interest rate spread the company has experienced throughout 1992. Net interest income before provision for loan losses increased $3.1 million, or 11.7 percent in the 1992 fourth quarter to $29.5 million compared to $26.4 million for the 1991 fourth quarter. For the full year, net interest income before provision for loan losses was $111.0 million in 1992 compared to $92.1 million in 1991, an increase of $18.9 million. The company's interest rate spread continued to widen during the 1992 fourth quarter, providing a favorable impact on the bank's core operations. The company's net interest margin was 4.77 percent for the fourth quarter of 1992, an improvement over a net interest margin of 4.57 percent during the 1992 third quarter, and a strong improvement from a net interest margin of 3.81 percent throughout 1991.
 Returns on average assets and average equity for the year were 1.38 percent and 11.89 percent, respectively. These returns compare to returns achieved in 1991 of 1.02 percent and 9.50 percent, respectively. Adam A. Jahns, chairman
and chief executive officer, commented, We are proud of the company's results in this first full year of public ownership. The decision to split our stock was made in order to increase the number of outstanding shares available for trading and thus accommodate the growing market for Cragin Financial Corp. stock.''
 Provisions for loan losses of $750,000 were recorded in the fourth quarter of 1992, compared to provisions of $2.2 million during the fourth quarter of 1991. For the year, provisions for loan losses were $3.0 million in 1992 compared to $7.2 million in 1991. The provisions recorded in the fourth quarter of 1992 bring the cumulative allowance for loan losses to $21.7 million, or 98.36 percent of non-performing loans. Non-performing assets increased slightly during the quarter to $27.5 million, or 1.00 percent of total assets, at Dec. 31, 1992 from $27.1 million, or 1.03 percent of total assets, at Sept. 30, 1992. Non- performing assets were $27.3 million, or 1.03 percent of total assets, at Dec. 31, 1991. The provisions reflect the bank's policy of conservatively evaluating its loan and investment portfolios.
 Non-interest income was $1.9 million in the current 1992 quarter, compared to $2.1 million in the comparable 1991 quarter. Although fees, commissions and other income increased $884,000 between comparable quarters, this was offset by the fact that the company had net losses on sales of assets of $510,000 in the 1992 period compared to net gain on sales of assets of $339,000 in the 1991 period. Additionally, income from real estate investments was down $335,000 between comparable quarters. For the year, non-interest income was $7.2 million, a slight increase over the $7.1 million recognized in 1991. In 1992, fees, commissions and other income were up $2.4 million, reflecting the company's increasing emphasis on non-core banking revenue streams, but income from real estate development reflected an overall decline of $1.6 million. The primary reason for the overall loss from real estate operations in 1992 was the establishment of $1.9 million in loss provisions. In 1992, the company had net gains on sales of assets of $615,000, compared to net gains on sales of assets totaling $1.4 million in 1991.
 Non-interest expense totaled $14.0 million in the fourth quarter compared to $11.4 million in the comparable 1991 quarter, primarily due to increases in compensation and benefits expense and other expense. Compensation and benefits increased $1.3 million between comparable quarters, due in part to additional amortization of stock benefit plans to compensation expense relating to an ESOP loan prepayment of $265,000 made during the 1992 fourth quarter, as well as $483,000 of expense recognized relating to the implementation of Statement of
Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement No. 106, Employer's Accounting for Post-Retirement Benefits Other Than Pensions.''
 Total assets remained relatively unchanged, from $2.65 billion at Dec. 31, 1991, to $2.74 billion at Dec. 31, 1992. Loans receivable decreased $89.1 million over the year, reflecting above-average levels of repayments. The company has used this liquidity to increase its levels of mortgage-backed securities and investment securities. Mortgage-backed securities increased $91.4 million during 1992, and investment and trading account securities increased $87.3 million.
 Deposits decreased $16.9 million to $2.10 billion at Dec. 31, 1992, from $2.11 billion at Dec. 31, 1991, reflecting the bank's decision to decrease its levels of jumbo deposits.
 Stockholders' equity totaled $311.4 million at Dec. 31, 1992. Common shares outstanding totaled 13,551,728 and book value per common share was $22.98, reflecting the greater number of shares outstanding resulting from the company's 3 for 2 stock split. The stock split was distributed on Dec. 28, 1992, to shareholders of record on Dec. 4, 1992. The company's stock price was $32 5/8 per share immediately preceding the split, and was adjusted for the stock split on the NASDAQ National Market System on Dec. 29, 1992. On Dec. 31, 1992, the company's closing stock price was $22 per share. During the quarter, the company also announced the initiation of its third five percent (total 706,375 shares) stock buy-back program. The buy-back period runs from Nov. 9, 1992 to May 8, 1993. As of Dec. 31, 1992, the company had repurchased 575,806 shares of common stock.
 During the fourth quarter, options to purchase 5,250 shares of common stock were exercised by officers and employees of the bank. The company reissued shares purchased in the open market to satisfy the option exercises.
 The capital of Cragin Federal Bank continues to substantially exceed all fully phased-in capital requirements set by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.
 Cragin Federal Bank for Savings is a federally chartered stock savings bank. The bank has a network of 27 branch offices located primarily in Chicago and the western and northwestern suburbs of Chicago. The stock of Cragin Financial Corp., the holding company of Cragin Federal Bank for Savings and Cragin Service Development Corp., is quoted on the NASDAQ National Market
System under the symbol CRGN.''
 CRAGIN FINANCIAL CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (Unaudited, dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 Periods ended Dec. 31 Three Months Ended Year Ended
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Interest income $ 55,217 61,027 222,704 236,160
 Interest expense 25,694 34,613 111,728 144,048
 Net interest income
 before provision
 for loan losses 29,523 26,414 110,976 92,112
 Provision for
 loan losses 750 2,225 3,000 7,238
 Net interest income
 after provision for
 loan losses 28,773 24,189 107,976 84,874
 Non-interest income:
 Gain (loss) on sale of:
 Mortgage-backed
 securities -- -- (72) 81
 Loans receivable -- (61) -- 19
 Trading account
 securities (510) 400 316 722
 Gain on sale and
 writedown of
 investment securities 248 202 371 573
 Income (loss) from
 real estate
 operations 223 558 (727) 837
 Fees and commissions 1,392 662 5,422 3,817
 Other 514 360 1,894 1,074
 Total non-interest
 income 1,867 2,121 7,204 7,123
 Non-interest expense:
 Compensation and
 benefits 7,244 5,958 27,100 22,982
 Office occupancy
 and equipment 1,313 1,279 5,346 4,773
 Federal deposit
 insurance premiums 1,313 1,292 5,249 4,994
 Advertising and
 promotion 319 445 1,412 2,066
 Data processing 368 309 1,509 1,276
 Professional services 475 286 2,075 928
 Amortization of excess of cost over
 fair value of net
 assets acquired 304 361 1,215 1,060
 Provision for losses on investment
 and mortgage-backed
 securities -- -- 355 1,140
 Provision for losses on
 foreclosed real estate 350 -- 392 250
 Other 2,264 1,427 6,957 5,822
 Total non-interest
 expense 13,950 11,357 51,610 45,291
 Income before income
 tax expense 16,690 14,953 63,570 46,706
 Income tax expense 6,668 6,792 26,911 20,261
 Net income $10,022 8,161 36,659 26,445
 Earnings per share:
 Primary $0.67 0.51 2.39 1.64
 Fully diluted $0.67 0.51 2.39 1.64
 CRAGIN FINANCIAL CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition
 (Unaudited, dollars in thousands)
 Periods ended Dec. 31 1992 1991
 Assets
 Cash and due from the banks $ 27,837 25,173
 Interest-earning deposits 687 4,130
 Federal funds sold 9,700 --
 Investment securities 307,245 253,664
 Investment securities held for sale 40,310 1,637
 Trading account securities -- 5,000
 Mortgage-backed securities 680,641 589,286
 Loans receivable, net 1,503,783 1,592,838
 Accrued interest receivable 21,598 24,596
 Foreclosed real estate, net 5,436 4,907
 Real estate held for
 development or sale 30,767 37,089
 Premises and equipment, net 26,554 26,334
 Excess of cost over fair value
 of net assets acquired 28,513 29,952
 Prepaid expenses and other assets 60,972 55,504
 Total $2,744,043 2,650,110
 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
 Liabilities:
 Deposits 2,097,985 2,114,878
 Borrowed funds 261,299 155,299
 Advanced payments by borrowers
 for taxes and insurance 17,299 17,574
 Accrued interest payable 21,620 28,017
 Other liabilities 34,478 31,922
 Total 2,432,681 2,347,690
 Stockholders' equity:
 Preferred stock, $.01 par value;
 authorized 10,000,000
 shares; none outstanding -- --
 Common stock, $.01 par value; authorized
 30,000,000 shares; issued 15,653,775 shares
 and outstanding 13,551,728 shares 156 104
 Additional paid-in capital 95,561 95,890
 Retained earnings, substantially
 restricted 258,576 221,970
 Treasury stock, at cost
 (2,102,047 shares) (34,860) (5,021)
 Common stock acquired by Employee
 Stock Ownership Plan (5,299) (6,799)
 Common stock awarded by Bank
 Recognition Plans (2,772) (3,742)
 Total stockholders' equity 311,362 302,420
 Commitments and contingencies
 Total $ 2,744,043 2,650,110
 CRAGIN FINANCIAL CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Highlights
 (Unaudited, dollars in thousands)
 Periods ended Dec. 31 1992 1991
 Financial Condition Highlights
 Total assets $ 2,744,043 2,650,110
 Interest-earning assets 2,542,366 2,446,555
 Interest-bearing liabilities 2,360,633 2,270,177
 Non-performing assets 27,521 27,296
 Non-performing loans 22,085 22,389
 Stockholders equity 311,362 302,420
 Shares outstanding - actual (A) 13,551,728 15,247,275
 Shares outstanding
 - fully diluted (A) 14,997,979 16,161,597
 Selected Asset Quality Ratios
 Non-performing loans to loans
 receivable, net (pct.) 1.50 1.41
 Non-performing assets to
 total assets (pct.) 1.00 1.03
 Allowance for loan losses to
 non-performing loans (pct.) 98.36 86.91
 Allowance for loan losses to
 loans receivable, net (pct.) 1.44 1.22
 Period Ended Dec. 31 Year Ended
 1992 1991
 Selected Operating Activities (annualized)
 Return on average assets (pct.) 1.38% 1.02
 Return on average equity (pct.) 11.89 9.50
 Operating expenses to average assets(pct)1.87 1.65
 Interest rate spread during period (pct.)4.12 3.28
 Net interest margin (pct.) 4.51 3.81
 Selected Investing Activities
 Loans originated and purchased $ 419,778 482,675
 Information per Common Share (A)
 Primary earnings $2.39 1.64
 Fully diluted earnings 2.39 1.64
 Book value (actual shares outstanding) 22.98 19.83
 Book value (fully diluted) 20.72 18.71
 Market price (closing) 22 14
 P/E ratio 9.21 8.53
 NOTE: (A) Amounts reflect the effect of a 3 for 2 stock split which occurred on Dec. 28, 1992. Prior year amounts have been restated to reflect the stock split.
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Adam A. Jahns, chairman and chief executive officer, 312-804-4500, Fredric G. Novy, president and chief operating officer, 312-804-4501, or Stanley G. Magiera, vice president, chief financial officer, 708-773-0027, all of Cragin Financial Corporation/
 (CRGN)


CO: Cragin Financial Corportaion ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ERN

TM -- NY106 -- 6652 01/19/93 21:18 EST
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