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FIRST CHICAGO REPORTS RECORD 1993 EARNINGS OF $8.78 PER SHARE; 4th QUARTER NET INCOME TOTALS $173 MILLION, OR $1.81 PER SHARE

 CHICAGO, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- First Chicago Corporation (NYSE: FNB) today reported the following results:
 First Chicago Corporation and Subsidiaries
 Comparative Summary
 Three Months Ended Dec. 31
 (In millions, except per share data) 1993 1992 Change
 Net interest income --tax-equivalent
 basis $ 306.9 $ 326.2 - 6%
 Provisions for credit and real estate
 losses (including provisions
 for assets held for accelerated
 disposition) 71.2 81.5 - 13%
 Noninterest income 523.0 436.0 + 20%
 Noninterest expense (excluding
 provisions for other real estate) 480.7 461.2 + 4%
 Net income 172.8 136.6 + 27%
 Earnings per share
 Primary 1.81 1.53 + 18%
 Average common and common equivalent
 shares (in millions) 87.7 81.7 + 7%
 Fully diluted 1.77 1.49 + 19%
 Average shares, assuming full
 dilution (in millions) 91.5 85.1 + 7%
 Average balances
 Loans 22,263 22,761 - 2%
 Earning assets 48,977 47,654 + 3%
 Total assets 57,708 56,167 + 3%
 Common equity 3,451 2,616 + 32%
 Stockholders' equity 4,212 3,235 + 30%
 Net interest margin 2.49% 2.72% - 8%
 Return on assets 1.19% 0.97% + 23%
 Return on common stockholders' equity 18.3% 19.0% - 4%
 First Chicago Corporation today reported record profits for 1993. Net income for the year was $804.5 million, or $8.78 per share. Return on common stockholders' equity was 24.2 percent. Earnings from the venture capital business were $204 million, or $2.29 per share, for 1993.
 For the fourth quarter, the Corporation earned net income of $172.8 million, or $1.81 per common share. Return on common stockholders' equity was 18.3 percent. Earnings from the venture capital business were $7 million, or five cents per share, for the fourth quarter. Excluding the venture capital contribution, quarterly earnings were up 83 percent from a year earlier.
 "Our 1993 results demonstrate the fundamental earnings power of first Chicago," Chairman Richard L. Thomas said. "After the special actions undertaken in 1992, we now have excellent credit quality, a very strong balance sheet, and a platform for achieving high, sustainable returns for stockholders.
 "Our mix of businesses -- and our strong competitive positions in each -- give us great confidence in our prospects for 1994," Thomas added. "We also anticipate that our operating results will again be augmented by gains from our venture capital portfolio."
 In the fourth quarter of 1992, net income was $137 million, or $1.53 per share. Net income for the full year 1992 was $94 million, or 64 cents per share, reflecting the $625 million special provision for combined credit losses related to the accelerated asset disposition program.
 FULL YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
 -- The Corporation's earnings from core businesses were consistently strong each quarter throughout the year.
 -- Equity securities gains of $381 million were recognized in the venture capital portfolio in 1993. Net income from the venture capital business -- revenues less the portfolio's cost-to-carry and other expenses -- was $204 million, or $2.29 per share, for the year. In 1992, venture capital earnings were $80 million, or 95 cents per share.
 -- Earnings from the credit card business grew substantially in 1993. Total managed receivables ended the year at $10.7 billion, up from $8.6 billion at year-end 1992. Average credit card outstandings for the year increased 21 percent over 1992 levels.
 -- Combined trading profits reached a record $285 million for the year, compared with $177 million in 1992. Foreign exchange trading, interest rate swap and option transactions, and emerging markets trading were the key activities driving this performance.
 -- Credit quality at Dec. 31, 1993, was excellent. Nonperforming assets were $277 million, or 1.2 percent of loans and other real estate. The ratio of the allowance for credit losses to nonperforming loans at year-end was 292 percent. Total commercial provision expense for the year was $78 million, or 54 basis points of related loans -- a significant improvement from 165 basis points in 1992.
 -- As of Dec. 31, 1993, approximately 89 percent of the net value of the accelerated asset disposition portfolio had been liquidated, well ahead of the Corporation's "price and pace" objectives. The carrying value of the portfolio was $126 million at year-end, down from $1.0 billion at Dec. 31, 1992. This value represented 26 percent of original contractual exposure, compared with 46 percent a year earlier. Net gains of $60 million from portfolio activity were recognized in noninterest income in 1993.
 -- The Corporation's regulatory capital ratios, and those of all its banking subsidiaries, remain significantly above the guidelines for "well-capitalized" status. At Dec. 31, 1993, the estimated Tier 1 ratio was 8.8 percent, and the total risk-adjusted ratio was approximately 13.5 percent. Year-ago ratios were 6.7 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.
 -- First Chicago's book value increased to $40.55 per common share at the end of 1993 from $33.19 at year-end 1992.
 FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
 -- The credit card business continued to contribute significantly to earnings. Total managed credit card receivables grew 11 percent in the quarter to $10.7 billion from $9.6 billion at Sept. 30, 1993.
 -- The carrying value of the accelerated asset disposition portfolio declined $118 million during the quarter to $126 million at Dec. 31, 1993, or 26 percent of original contractual exposure. A net gain of $30 million from portfolio activity was recognized in noninterest income in the fourth quarter.
 -- The Corporation reclassified its $196 million reserve for securitized credit card receivables from the "allowance for credit losses" to "other assets." This reclassification was made to be consistent with industry practice and had no impact on reserves available for losses or on reported earnings.
 -- The provision for commercial credits was $8 million for the fourth quarter, representing 22 basis points of related loans.
 -- Total equity securities gains were $40 million, of which $20 million were generated from the venture capital portfolio. Net income from the venture capital business was $7 million, or five cents per share, in the fourth quarter. In 1992's fourth quarter, venture capital earnings were $48 million, or 57 cents per share.
 NET INTEREST INCOME
 Net interest income on a tax-equivalent basis was $307 million for the fourth quarter. Net interest margin was 2.49 percent, and average earning assets were $49.0 billion.
 Adjusted for the effects of credit card securitization and the activities of the Corporation's capital markets subsidiary, net interest margin was 3.62 percent. Adjusted net interest margin was 3.78 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992 and 3.98 percent in the third quarter of 1993.
 For the full year, adjusted net interest margin was 3.70 percent, compared with 3.45 percent in 1992. Gains on Brazilian bonds leases in conjunction with the change in tax rates added 9 basis points to adjusted net interest margin in 1993.
 NONINTEREST INCOME
 Total noninterest income was $523 million for the fourth quarter. Combined trading activities generated revenues of $61 million.
 Equity securities gains were $40 million, including $20 million from the venture capital portfolio. The remaining gains of $20 million were realized from equity securities held in conjunction with corporate financing activities and the sale of Chilean equity positions previously received in exchange for debt.
 Net gains of $30 million from accelerated disposition activities were recorded in other revenue.
 For the year, noninterest income totaled $2.202 billion and included $480 million in equity securities gains.
 NONINTEREST EXPENSE
 Operating noninterest expense was $481 million for the quarter. Higher incentive compensation costs versus prior periods and increased expenses for the credit card business are reflected in this total. The provision for other real estate was $1 million.
 Operating noninterest expense for 1993 was $1.854 billion, compared with $1.764 billion a year earlier. In 1992 these expenses included charges of $86 million principally for reserves related to occupancy, asset disposition and litigation matters.
 CREDIT QUALITY
 The provision for credit losses was $70 million for the fourth quarter. This included $62 million for the consumer portfolios and $8 million for commercial credits.
 For the year, the provision for credit losses was $270 million, down substantially from $425 million in 1992 before the special provision.
 The Corporation's allowance for credit losses was $683 million at year-end. Of this total, $488 million was related to the commercial exposure segment and $195 million to the consumer portfolios.
 The reclassification of reserves related to securitized credit card receivables reduce the ratio of total allowance to nonperforming loans. However, it had no impact on the ratio of commercial reserves to commercial nonperforming loans, which was 209 percent at the end of 1993.
 Net charge-offs were $39 million for the fourth quarter. Commercial net charge-offs were $10 million. Consumer net charge-offs, mainly in the credit card portfolio, were $29 million. The net charge-off rate for credit card receivables was 3.5 percent.
 -0- 1/17/94
 /CONTACT: Lisabeth Weiner, 312-732-4455; or (Investors) Colleen Mulligan, 312-732-4812, or Susan Temple, 312-732-8013, all for First Chicago Corporation/
 /FIRST ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (FNB)


CO: First Chicago Corporation ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ERN

TW -- NY022 -- 2423 01/17/94 09:47 EST
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