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FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO REPORTS $11.5 MILLION QUARTERLY EARNINGS

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico (NYSE: FBP) announced today net earnings of $11,502,000 or $1.39 per common share, for the quarter ended March 31, 1993, an increase of 259 percent as compared to earnings of $3,203,000 for the first quarter of 1992. Earnings include a special adjustment of $6,840,000 or $0.87 per common share, due to the implementation of a new accounting pronouncement related to the accounting of deferred tax assets, FASB 109.
 Operational or core earnings for this first quarter of 1993 were $4,662,000 or $0.52 per common share, an increase of $1,459,000 (45.6 percent) or $0.18 (52.9 percent) per common share, over the $3,203,000 or $0.34 per common share, reported for the quarter ended March 31, 1992. (All 1992 per share figures have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the effect of a 10 percent stock dividend distributed on Dec. 31, 1992 and a 50 percent stock split distributed on Feb. 26, 1993.)
 According to Angel Alvarez Perez, president and CEO of the bank, "The improvement in operational earnings is the direct result of actions taken throughout the past 12 months, to improve the bank's loan production capacity, especially in the areas of auto and residential mortgage lending and the restructuring of the bank's liability base." Net interest income was $20,845,000 for the quarter, an increase of 23.4 percent over the net interest income of $16,893,000 during the first quarter of 1992. During 1992 the bank took advantage of good market opportunities to restructure its liabilities by prepaying $40 million of its term notes, and substituting a portion of its wholesale 936 certificate of deposits with repurchase agreements at lower costs. While funding costs have decreased, the bank has been able to protect its asset yields through more efficient production in the consumer and mortgage lending areas, by placing new human and technological resources into these areas.
 Provision for loan losses was $3,704,000, an increase of $742,000 for the quarter in response to management's philosophy of enhancing further its unallocated reserves. Operating expenses, at $14,448,000 include a special charge of $300,000 pertaining to costs of a future securitization, for which the bank has not recognized yet a gain. Excluding this item, operating expenses increase by $775,000 as compared to March 1992, but actually decreased by $30,000 if compared to the last quarter of 1992. The increases pertain to new investments throughout 1992, in new human resources and technology for the branches and loan production areas.
 Return on assets (ROA) for the quarter was 1.35 percent and return on common equity (ROCE) for the quarter was 41.09 percent. (ROA and ROCE is annualized, except the special item of $6.8 million, which was not annualized because it is non-recurrent.)
 Total assets remained stable as planned at $1,884,487,000 from $1,888,754,000 at Dec. 31, 1992. Total loans increased by $9,115,000 during the first quarter, as a result of an increase of $21,470,000 in consumer loans. Deposits increased by $6,171,000 during the first quarter of 1993.
 First Federal Savings Bank, with total capital of $100.4 million and assets of $1.9 billion is the largest savings institution in Puerto Rico. It operates 30 branches in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and three branches in Miami through its subsidiary, First Florida Savings Bank. The bank exceeds all three regulatory capital requirements.
 FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (000s OMITTED)
 Three Months Ended Increase
 03-31-93 03-31-92 (Decrease)
 Net interest income $20,845 $16,893 $3,952
 Provision for possible
 loan losses 3,704 2,962 742
 Other operating income 3,458 3,047 411
 Gain on sale
 of investments --- --- ---
 Operating expenses 14,448 13,373 1,075
 Income before income tax 6,151 3,605 2,546
 Current income tax expense 1,489 402 1,087
 Net operating income 4,662 3,203 1,459
 Deferred income tax benefit 6,840 --- 6,840
 Net income $11,502 $ 3,203 $8,299
 Net operating income
 per common share (A) $ .52 $ .34 $ .18
 Deferred tax benefit per
 common share (A) .87 --- .87
 Net income per
 common share (A) $ 1.39 $ .34 $ 1.05
 (A) -- Both primary and fully diluted.
 CONDENSED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (000s OMITTED)
 AT AT
 3-31-93 12-31-92
 Total assets $1,884,487 $1,888,754
 Mortgage-backed securities 474,021 450,818
 Total loans:
 Commercial loans 154,899 161,258
 Consumer and other loans 453,291 431,821
 Real estate loans 583,334 589,330
 Total 1,191,524 1,182,409
 Reserve for possible loan
 losses 30,000 30,474
 Total deposits:
 Branch generated deposits 1,032,361 1,029,302
 Institutional deposits
 including 936 310,779 307,667
 Total 1,343,140 1,336,969
 Total stockholders' equity 100,442 88,622
 -0- 4/7/93
 /CONTACT: Annie Astor de Carbonell, executive vice president and chief financial officer of First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico, 809-724-1715/
 (FBP)


CO: First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico ST: IN: FIN SU: ERN

JB-AW -- FL003 -- 3751 04/07/93 12:06 EDT
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Date:Apr 7, 1993
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