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FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO REPORTS $3.2 MILLION EARNINGS

 FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO
 REPORTS $3.2 MILLION EARNINGS
 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico (NASDAQ: FFPR) announced today net earnings of $3.20 million, or $0.56 per common share, for the first quarter ending March 31, 1992. Net earnings results represent a six percent improvement over earnings for the first quarter in 1991, that amounted to $3.02 million, or $0.60 per common share. The results reported for this first quarter of 1992 bring First Federal into full capital compliance. "A strong and sustained stream of earnings has been the main factor in achieving our primary business objective of reaching full regulatory capital compliance," commented Angel Alvarez Perez, president and CEO of the savings bank.
 Net interest income for the first quarter of 1992 increased by a significant 14.27 percent, to $16.89 million, over the $14.78 million reported for the same period last year, an improvement of $2.11 million. The growth in net interest income reflects an increase in net interest rate spread due to lower cost of funds which exceeded the reduction in the yield on earning assets. The strong improvement in the level of net income was achieved notwithstanding an increase in the provision for possible loan losses, from $2.67 million for the first quarter of 1991, to $2.96 million for the same period this year. This provision strengthens the reserve for possible loan losses by increasing the ratio of reserves to total loans from 2.29 percent as of Dec. 31, 1991, to 2.38 percent as of March 31, 1992.
 Net income for the first quarter of last year included a $422,000 gain on the sale of investments. Significantly however, net income for this quarter, ending March 31, 1992, is based totally on core operational business.
 Total operating expenses for the first quarter of 1992 totaled $13.37 million, as compared to $12.29 million in the first quarter of the previous year. The additional expenses are related to the expansion of residential mortgage and auto lending activities. "With the opening of new loan centers for the generation of residential mortgage and auto loans in areas of strong demand, such as Caguas, Mayaguez, Manati and Ponce, we have positioned the bank to maximize its potential in substantial market segments and sources of business," said Alvarez Perez.
 Total assets as of March 31, 1992 remained stable as planned, at $1,891.86 million, as compared to $1,898.40 million as of Dec. 31, 1991. Total loans decreased to $1,202.44 million as of March 31, 1992, from $1,264.38 million as of Dec. 31, 1991. This reduction in the bank's total loan portfolio is due to a conversion of a pool of mortgages into mortgage-backed securities that remain in the bank's investment portfolio.
 Consumer loans increased $1.95 million during the first quarter of 1992, to a total of $422.60 million, resulting from more activity in the auto lending area, as well as a higher level of originations of personal loans by the end of the quarter. "Better yields have made personal lending more attractive. Therefore, we have been promoting personal loans more actively, expecting that an initial trend of growth experienced at the end of the first quarter in this portfolio will be sustained for the remaining of the year," added Alvarez Perez.
 On the liability side, First Federal reported an increase of $19.21 million in core deposits generated through branches during the first quarter of 1992, including a significant increase of $49.62 million in passbook savings. The increase in passbook savings, a stable source of funds, reduces the sensitivity of changes in interest rates on deposits. The increase in core deposits also offsets the lower level of certificates of deposits caused by a general trend in the banking market toward shorter term deposits. On the other hand, institutional deposits, made up mainly of 936 funds, decreased by $56.16 million. The net effect of all the changes by the type of deposits was to reduce total deposits from $1,373.82, to $1,336.87 million during the first quarter of 1992.
 First Federal Savings Bank, with total capital of $77.35 million and assets of $1,891.86 million as of March 31, 1992, is the largest savings institution in Puerto Rico. It operates 30 branches in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in addition to 3 branches in Miami. The branches in Miami are operated through First Florida Savings Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Federal.
 FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (000s OMITTED)
 Three Months Ended
 3/31/92 3/31/91 Increase
 (Decrease)
 Net Interest Income $16,893 $14,783 $2,110
 Provision for possible loan losses 2,962 2,672 290
 Other Operating Income 3,047 3,050 (3)
 Gain on Sale of Investments -- 422 (422)
 Operating Expenses 13,373 12,287 1,086
 Income Before Income Tax Provision 3,605 3,296 309
 Provision in income tax 402 274 128
 Net Income $3,203 $ 3,022 $ 181
 Net Income Per Common Share $0.56 $ 0.60 $ (0.04)
 CONDENSED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (000s OMITTED)
 AT AT
 3/31/92 12/31/91
 Total Assets $1,891,862 $1,898,399
 Mortgage-Backed Securities 391,635 349,331
 Total loans: 1,202,442 1,264,380
 Commercial loans 195,599 205,345
 Consumer and other loans 422,595 420,647
 Real estate loans 584,248 638,388
 Reserve for Possible Loan Losses 28,616 29,001
 Total Deposits: 1,336,874 1,373,822
 Branch generated deposits 991,604 972,393
 Institutional deposits
 including 936 345,270 401,429
 Total Stockholders' Equity 77,349 74,146
 -0- 4/13/92
 /CONTACT: Annie Astor de Carbonell, executive vice president and chief financial officer of First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico, 809-724-1715/
 (FFPR) CO: First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico ST: IN: FIN SU: ERN


JB-AW -- FL009 -- 7717 04/13/92 11:38 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1992
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