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FIRST LIBERTY REPORTS INCREASE IN CORE INCOME FOR THE FIRST QUARTER

 MACON, Ga., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- First Liberty Financial Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: FLFC) reported net income of $803,000 or $.27 per fully diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, compared to $1.6 million or $.53 per fully diluted share a year earlier.
 Last year's results include an extraordinary item of $1.2 million or $.40 per fully diluted share reflecting an accounting change for the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standard No. 109 "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 Core income which excludes the accounting change, increased by $419,000 or 109 percent to $803,000 or $.27 per fully diluted share during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, from $384,000 or $.13 per fully diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 Robert F. Hatcher, First Liberty chief executive officer, said: "We are beginning to see the effects of reduced non-performing assets in our operating results. Net interest income showed strong improvement reflecting an expanded interest rate spread and the favorable impact of reduced non-performing assets."
 Net interest income increased by $900,000 or 20 percent during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, to $5.1 million from $4.2 million a year earlier. The interest rate spread increased to 3.45 percent during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, from 2.93 percent last year.
 Non-performing assets (which include non-performing loans and repossessed assets) were $23.7 million or 3.5 percent of total assets at Dec. 31, 1992, compared to $38.4 million or 5.4 percent of total assets at Dec. 31, 1991. Non-performing loans were $5.1 million or 1.0 percent of total loans at Dec. 31, 1992, compared to $7.2 million or 1.3 percent of total loans a year earlier.
 Loan loss reserves were $6.4 million or 1.2 percent of total loans at Dec. 31, 1992, compared to $5.0 million or .9 percent of total loans a year ago. At Dec. 31, 1992, loan loss reserves were 126 percent of total non-performing loans compared to 70 percent at Dec. 31, 1991.
 Real estate owned and other repossessed assets declined to $18.7 million at Dec. 31, 1992, from $31.1 million last year. Sales of foreclosed real estate were $3.6 million during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992.
 The loan loss provision declined to $472,000 during the first quarter of fiscal 1993 compared to $800,000 a year earlier, reflecting a lower level of non-performing loans and a lower level of non-performing assets. Non-interest expense declined slightly to $4.9 million during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, from $5.0 million last year.
 During the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, Liberty Mortgage Corporation (First Liberty's mortgage banking subsidiary) originated $166 million of loans compared to $108 million a year earlier.
 The following table summarizes Liberty Savings Bank's regulatory capital ratios and its requirements at Dec. 31, 1992:
 Capital Regulatory
 (in pcts.) Level Requirement
 Tangible 5.2 1.5
 Core 5.5 3.0
 Risk-Based 10.8 8.0
 Total stockholders' equity was $39.3 million or $13.18 per share at Dec. 31, 1992, compared to $37.2 million or $12.50 per share at Dec. 31, 1991.
 Hatcher said: "First quarter results show strengthening operating trends from increased net interest income, from reduced provisions for loan loss reserves and from reduced non-interest expense. These results are consistent with our strategic plan which we updated during 1992 and reflect the progress made within Liberty over the last two years."
 The company also announced that Charles A. (Andy) Wathen had been elected president of its subsidiary, Liberty Mortgage Corporation. Wathen, who has been with Liberty Mortgage since 1981, most recently served as senior vice president in charge of loan production. He replaced the former president, Robert C. KenKnight, whose resignation was announced last month.
 First Liberty Financial Corp. is the holding company for Liberty Savings Bank, F.S.B., which operates 20 banking offices in middle, coastal and south Georgia, a loan production office in Atlanta and owning a mortgage banking company which operates throughout Georgia and through correspondent relationships in several southeastern states. First Liberty Common Stock is quoted through the National Market System of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASDAQ) under the symbol FLFC. First Liberty's 11 percent Subordinated Debentures, 8-1/4 percent Subordinated Debentures and 8-1/4 percent Convertible Subordinated Debentures are traded through the inter-dealer quotation system commonly referred to as the "yellow sheets."
 FIRST LIBERTY FINANCIAL CORP.
 Financial Highlights (unaudited)
 Dollars in thousands, except per-share data
 Operating ratios are annualized
 3 months ended 12/31/92 12/31/91
 EARNINGS SUMMARY
 Net interest income $ 5,115 $ 4,247
 Prov. for loan losses 472 800
 Non interest income 1,564 2,223
 Non interest expense 4,937 5,045
 Income taxes 467 241
 Income before change in acctg. principle 803 384
 Change in accounting principle --- 1,217
 Net income $ 803 $ 1,601
 Earnings per share:
 Before change in accounting
 principle
 Primary $ 0.27 $ 0.13
 Fully diluted $ 0.27 $ 0.13
 Net income
 Primary $ 0.27 $ 0.54
 Fully diluted $ 0.27 $ 0.53
 Wtd. avg. shares outstanding
 Primary 3,019,176 2,978,350
 Fully diluted 3,059,837 3,019,011
 OPERATING RATIOS
 Net interest margin 3.45 pct. 2.93 pct.
 Return on avg. assets 0.48 pct. 0.91 pct.
 Return on avg. equity 8.25 pct.17.49 pct.
 BALANCE SHEET SUMMARY AT 12/31/92 9/30/92 12/31/91
 Total assets $679,335 $679,376 $714,496
 Earning assets 615,206 604,516 631,712
 Loans, net 530,825 537,937 542,214
 Allowance for loan losses 6,375 5,641 5,049
 Deposits 530,728 495,229 527,573
 Stockholders equity 39,256 38,453 37,223
 Book value per share 13.18 12.91 12.50
 Tangible book value per share 12.09 11.84 11.35
 Shares outstanding 2,978,350 2,978,350 2,978,350
 AVERAGE BALANCES AT 12/31/92 9/30/92 12/31/91
 Total assets $668,807 $708,843 $705,394
 Earning assets 598,654 634,736 624,844
 Total loans, net 524,765 556,646 539,336
 Deposits 502,055 510,296 525,528
 Stockholders equity 38,916 37,262 36,610
 ASSET QUALITY
 Nonperforming loans $ 5,067 $ 3,569 $ 7,243
 Repossessed assets 18,647 19,078 31,110
 Nonperforming assets 23,714 22,647 38,353
 Net loan charge-offs 1,013 3,173 620
 FINANCIAL RATIOS
 General allowance for loan losses
 to total loans 1.2 pct. 1.0 pct. 0.9 pct.
 General allowance for loan losses
 to nonperforming loans 125.8 pct. 158.1 pct. 69.7 pct.
 Net loan charge-offs to
 average total loans
 annualized 0.8 pct. 0.6 pct. 0.5 pct.
 Nonperforming loans to
 total loans 1.0 pct. 0.7 pct. 1.3 pct.
 Nonperforming assets to
 total assets 3.5 pct. 3.3 pct. 5.4 pct.
 Equity to assets 5.8 pct. 5.7 pct. 5.2 pct.
 REGULATORY CAPITAL RATIOS 12/31/92 Required Excess
 Tangible 5.2 pct. 1.5 pct. 3.7 pct.
 Core 5.5 pct. 3.0 pct. 2.5 pct.
 Risk-based 10.8 pct. 8.0 pct. 2.8 pct.
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: David L. Hall, senior vice president and chief financial officer of First Liberty Financial Corp., 912-743-0911/
 (FLFC)


CO: First Liberty Financial Corp. ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU: ERN

RA-BN -- AT017 -- 9884 01/27/93 16:45 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1993
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