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FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO REPORTS 44 PERCENT INCREASE IN EARNINGS; REDEMPTION OF TERM NOTES

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- First Federal Savings Bank of Puerto Rico (NASDAQ: FFPR), today announced net earnings for 1992 of $14,479,738, or $2.34 per common share. These earnings represent an increase of 44 percent when compared with $10,053,561 or $1.57 per common share earned during year 1991. All per share amounts have been adjusted for the 10 percent stock dividend the bank distributed on Dec. 31, 1992.
 Results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992 reflect a net income before extraordinary items of $4,487,895 or $0.75 per common share. The bank decided to prepay $40 million of its 1987 term notes at a cost of $870,000 (net of tax) or $0.17 per common share. Such notes carried a cost of 9.25 percent and had a weighted average maturity of 2.03 years. These were substituted with short term funds with a 5-year interest rate swap fixed at 4.78 percent. Fourth quarter net earnings after this extraordinary item amounted to $3,617,895 or $0.58 per common share. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 1991 amounted to $2,656,469 or $0.40 per common share.
 According to Angel Alvarez Perez, the improvement in the earnings of the bank are the result of actions taken during 1990 and 1991, which included the reduction of the bank's expense base, the enhancement of the mortgage and auto loan production areas and the restructuring of the investments and borrowings of the bank. "We have definitely positioned the bank for sustained earnings performance for the years to come, and the 1992 results are a confirmation of this fact," said Alvarez Perez. Total 1992 return on average assets and return on average common equity were .78 percent and 26.37 percent, respectively.
 The quality of the bank's earnings also improved during 1992. After excluding gains on sales of investments earnings for 1992 surpassed those of 1991 by $8.9 million or 175 percent. The main reason for this was a significant improvement in the bank's net interest income which amounted to $73.0 million, an increase of $11.2 million when compared to 1991, which is the result of lower fundings costs and a reduction in the bank's non-performing assets.
 Total assets remained stable at $1,889 million as of Dec. 31, 1992, as compared to $1,898 million as of Dec. 31, 1991. Total loans decreased by 6.48 percent to $1,182 million from $1,264 million during the same period as a result of lower commercial loan balances and mortgage loan securitizations, which were partly offset by increases in consumer loans. "We have concentrated our efforts in the traditional activities of home and auto financing," said Alvarez Perez. The bank also experienced significant increases in its branch based deposits from $972.4 million to $1,029 million during 1992.
 First Federal Savings Bank, with $1.9 billion in total assets, ranks first among Puerto Rico's savings institutions and second among local banking institutions, including local commercial banks. The bank, which exceeds all capital requirements, operates 30 branches in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 3 branches in Miami, through its subsidiary, First Florida Savings Bank.
 FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK OF PUERTO RICO
 CONDENSED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (000s OMITTED)
 AT AT
 12-31-92 12-31-91
 Total assets $1,888,754 $1,898,399
 Mortgage-backed securities 450,818 349,331
 Total loans:
 Commercial loans 161,258 205,344
 Consumer and other loans 431,820 420,647
 Real estate loans 589,331 638,389
 Total 1,182,409 1,264,380
 Reserve for possible
 loan losses 30,474 29,001
 Total deposits:
 Branch generated deposits 1,029,302 972,393
 Institutional deposits
 including 936 307,667 401,429
 Total 1,336,969 1,373,822
 Total stockholders' equity 88,622 74,146
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (000s OMITTED)
 Three Months Ended Increase
 12-31-92 12-31-91 (Decrease)
 Net interest income $20,041 $15,927 $4,114
 Provision for possible
 loan losses 3,404 3,779 (375)
 Other operating income 3,267 3,588 (321)
 Gain on sale
 of investments -- 185 (185)
 Operating expenses 14,179 13,793 386
 Income before income
 tax provision and
 extraordinary item 5,725 2,128 3,597
 Provision (reduction)
 for income tax 1,237 (528) 1,765
 Income before
 extraordinary item 4,488 2,656 1,832
 Extraordinary item:
 Loss on early
 extinguishment of
 debt (870) -- 870
 Net income $ 3,618 $ 2,656 962
 Net income per
 common share:(A)
 Income before
 extraordinary item $.75 $.40 $.35
 Extraordinary item (.17) -- .17
 Net income per
 common share $.58 $.40 $.18
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (000s OMITTED)
 Year Ended Increase
 12-31-92 12-31-91 (Decrease)
 Net interest income $73,007 $61,846 $11,161
 Provision for possible
 loan losses 13,596 16,443 (2,847)
 Other operating income 13,026 13,897 (871)
 Gain on sale
 of investments 537 4,997 (4,460)
 Operating expenses 54,745 51,423 3,322
 Income before income
 tax provision and
 extraordinary item 18,229 12,874 5,355
 Provision (reduction)
 for income tax 2,879 1,420 1,459
 Income before
 extraordinary item 15,350 11,454 3,896
 Extraordinary item:
 Loss on early extinguishment
 of debt (870) (1,400) (530)
 Net income $14,480 $10,054 $4,426
 Net income per
 common share:(A)
 Income before
 extraordinary item $2.51 $1.88 $.63
 Extraordinary item (.17) (.31) (.14)
 Net income per
 common share 2.34 1.57 .77
 (A) -- Both primary and fully diluted.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /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

JJ-SS-JB -- FL006 -- 4101 01/12/93 14:08 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1993
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