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FIRST EASTERN ANNOUNCES QUARTERLY RESULTS

 WILKES-BARRE, Pa., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- First Eastern Corp. (NASDAQ: FEBC) today reported net income of approximately $400,000, or 3 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30, 1993, as compared to a loss of $7.6 million, or 75 cents per share, for the same quarter of last year.
 For the first six months of 1993, net income approximated $1.1 million, or 10 cents per share, as compared to a loss of $14.3 million, or $1.41 per share, last year.
 Commenting on the results, Frederick A. Deal, president and chief executive officer, said, "Although quarterly profits continue to be modest, the corporation has made advancements in its turnaround plan as evidenced by the achievement of mandated capital ratios, further resolution of asset quality issues, and progress in reducing core operating expenses." He noted that earnings for the period were enhanced by securities gains of $9.1 million, compared with $2.4 million in the comparable period last year. If adjusted for securities gains, core operating income was flat as compared to last year.
 Deal indicated that the sale of common stock in February of 1993, along with a reduced balance sheet and a return to profitability, boosted the corporation's capital ratios. Importantly, said Deal, the corporation's principal subsidiary, First Eastern Bank, N.A., exceeded the target capital ratios for June 30, 1993, established under a formal agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
 While the sale of common stock increased equity accounts by about $14 million over June 30, 1992, levels, the corporation's sale of assets in the fourth quarter of 1992, and a national trend of depositors moving funds into nonbanking instruments, also influenced the size of the balance sheet. At June 30, 1993, First Eastern had total assets of $2.1 billion, as compared to $2.5 billion a year earlier. For the same period, loans were approximately $1.4 billion as compared to $1.8 billion; and deposits were approximately $1.9 billion as compared to $2.3 billion. Deal noted that the corporation's current asset size is consistent with its 1993 objectives.
 According to Deal, First Eastern's asset quality continued to improve as nonperforming assets steadily trended downward, to approximately $104 million at June 30, 1993, as compared to $124 million at year end and $144 million last June. "We have remained committed to dealing aggressively with our nonperforming assets. Consistent with this initiative, the corporation's loan loss provision was increased by $5 million in the quarter ended June 30, 1993, from its level in the previous quarter," Deal said.
 Nonperforming loans declined to $72 million at June 30, 1993, from $95 million at year end 1992, and $110 million last June, a 35 percent decrease. During that period, the allowance for possible loan and lease losses as a percentage of loans increased to 4.36 percent at June 30, 1993, from 4.16 percent on June 30, 1992. The coverage of nonperforming loans also improved, as the allowance for possible loan and lease losses was 85.7 percent of nonperforming loans at June 30, 1993, up from 69.9 percent a year ago.
 For the quarter ended June 30, 1993, net interest income was down about $3 million, as compared to the second quarter of last year, due to a lower level of earning assets. For the six-month period ended June 30, 1993, net interest income was down approximately $5 million when compared to the same period in 1992.
 For the quarter ended June 30, 1993, other expenses declined $9 million as compared with last June, despite $5 million in other real estate owned (OREO) expenses associated with asset sales and writedowns during the quarter. Last year's second quarter results included $12 million of OREO expenses. If adjusted for nonoperating expenses, core operating expenses were down about $2 million when compared to last year's second quarter and have yet to reflect the full impact of the corporation's profit improvement program.
 Deal reported that nine branch offices were consolidated and 150 full-time equivalent positions were eliminated as of June 30, 1993. "The profit improvement strategies which we began to implement in February have been completed, and we expect to begin realizing lower core operating expenses during the third and fourth periods," he said.
 First Eastern Corp. is a one-bank holding company headquartered in Wilkes-Barre. Its principal subsidiary, First Eastern Bank, N.A., serves a nine-county region in northeast Pennsylvania.
 FIRST EASTERN CORP.
 Summary of Operations
 Quarter Ended June 30, 1993
 (Dollars in thousands except per share)
 Periods ended Six Months Quarter
 June 30 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net interest income $45,399 $50,323 $22,698 $25,789
 Loan loss provision 17,000 24,500 11,000 6,000
 Net interest income after
 provision for loan loss 28,399 25,823 11,698 19,789
 Other income 23,197 19,478 16,160 8,958
 Other expenses 50,374 59,624 27,394 36,395
 Income (loss)
 before income tax 1,222 (14,323) 464 (7,648)
 Income tax 74 --- 66 ---
 Net income (loss) 1,148 (14,323) 398 (7,648)
 Earnings per common share:
 Net income (loss)
 primary $.10 $(1.41) $.03 $(.75)
 Net income (loss)
 fully dilutive .10 (1.41) .03 (.75)
 Weighted average
 common shares 11,802,969 10,133,029 12,256,275 10,135,321
 (Dollars in millions) June 30, 1993 Dec. 31, 1992 June 30, 1992
 Assets $2,139 $2,340 $2,535
 Loans, net 1,418 1,582 1,843
 Deposits 1,898 2,111 2,277
 Stockholders' equity 164 135 150
 Selected ratios (Percent):
 Allowance for loan loss
 as a percentage of
 loans, net 4.36 4.47 4.16
 Loans to deposits 74.70 74.92 80.92
 Equity to assets 7.68 5.79 5.93
 Capital ratios at June 30, 1993
 First First Mandated
 Minimum Eastern. Eastern by
 Corp Bank, N.A. Agreement
 (Consolidated) (Subsidiary)
 Tier I (Pct.) 4 10.54 10.28 8.25
 Total capital (Pct.) 8 11.83 11.57 N/A
 Leverage ratio (Pct.) 3-5 7.04 6.90 6.50
 /delval/
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Karen Shonk of First Eastern Corp., 717-826-4777/
 (FEBC)


CO: First Eastern Corp. ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ERN

MP -- PH003 -- 3748 07/21/93 08:18 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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