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FIRST SECURITY REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS OF $18.47 MILLION, HIGHEST QUARTERLY EARNINGS IN ITS HISTORY

 FIRST SECURITY REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS OF $18.47 MILLION,
 HIGHEST QUARTERLY EARNINGS IN ITS HISTORY
 SALT LAKE CITY, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- First Security Corp. (NASDAQ: FSCO) today reported net income of $18.47 million for the first quarter of 1992, an increase of $4.41 million (31.4 percent) over the first quarter of 1991. This was the highest quarterly net operating earnings in its history. Net income for the quarter equated to a 1.06 percent return on average assets (ROA) and a 12.57 percent return on average equity (ROE).
 For the quarter, fully-diluted net income per share was 72 cents, an increase of 11 cents (18.0 percent) from the year-ago quarter. Per share data have been restated to reflect a three-for-two stock split in the form of a 50 percent stock dividend paid in June 1991.
 Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and chief executive of the Salt Lake City-based regional banking and financial services company, said, "Our earnings are now in their sixth consecutive year of sustained growth. For the first quarter of 1992, this has been primarily due to the combination of higher balances in earning assets, lower funding costs and increased noninterest income."
 First Security's net interest income on a fully-taxable equivalent (FTE) basis was $80.89 million for the first quarter of 1992, up $12.87 million (18.9 percent) from the year-ago quarter. Significantly higher consumer loan volumes and investment securities balances, combined with lower interest expenses in nearly every category, widened the net interest margin to 5.13 percent, from 4.58 percent one year ago and a 4.63 percent average for the 1991 year.
 Nonperforming assets, which include nonaccruing and renegotiated loans plus other real estate owned (ORE), totaled $93.61 million for the first quarter of 1992, down $9.71 million (9.4 percent) from the year-ago quarter, but up $45 thousand (less than 0.1 percent) from year-end 1991. Nonperforming assets equaled 1.95 percent of total loans and ORE for the current quarter, down from 2.26 percent for the year-ago quarter and 1.96 percent at year-end 1991.
 The provision for loan losses totaled $8.67 million for the first quarter of 1992, down $0.50 million (5.5 percent) from the year-ago quarter. Net loan chargeoffs for the quarter were $4.97 million, down $3.03 million (37.9 percent) from the first quarter of 1991.
 In consideration of national economic uncertainties, First Security continued to build an already-strong reserve for potential loan losses. The reserve totaled $95.51 million at March 31, 1992, up $13.98 million (17.1 percent) from the year-ago quarter, and up $7.00 million (7.9 percent) from year-end 1991. The reserve equaled 1.99 percent of total loans, 149.94 percent of nonaccruing and renegotiated loans and 102.04 percent of total nonperforming assets. This was even stronger than the corresponding ratios of 1.80 percent, 126.92 percent and 78.92 percent at March 31, 1991.
 Noninterest income totaled $26.17 million for the first quarter of 1992, increasing $1.84 million (7.5 percent) from the year-ago quarter. This growth was achieved in the categories of service charges on accounts, real estate loan discounts, commissions, trust service fees, and bankcard servicing fees for third-party customers.
 Noninterest expenses totaled $68.46 million for the quarter, up $8.00 million (13.2 percent) from the year-ago quarter. With the exception of a 17.9 percent rise in the F.D.I.C. insurance rate from the first quarter of 1991, the increase was generally the result of normal growth combined with the impact of recent acquisitions and included increases in salaries and benefits expense, the provision for losses on ORE, consulting services, F.D.I.C. insurance, and advertising expense, all of which more than offset decreases in legal expense and other real estate expense.
 First Security's efficiency ratio (the ratio of noninterest expenses to the sum of FTE net interest income and noninterest income) was 63.95 percent, as compared with 65.47 percent for the year-ago quarter.
 Eccles said, "First Security continued to build a strong, conservatively-positioned balance sheet during the first quarter, and this remains a high priority for the Corporation." In particular, stockholders' equity totaled $590.82 million at March 31, 1992, growing $101.86 million (20.8 percent) from one year ago and $21.63 million (3.8 percent) from year-end 1991. This equity growth was achieved through retention of earnings combined with the third quarter 1991 conversion to equity of the Corporation's $39.75 million in 9.50 percent convertible subordinated debentures due 2006 and the issuance of common stock for acquisitions. As a result, the ratio of stockholders' equity to total assets reached 8.18 percent, up from 7.36 percent and 8.11 percent at the end of the first and fourth quarters of 1991, respectively. The ratio of tangible common equity to total assets reached 8.00 percent, up from 7.15 percent and 7.93 percent for the same comparative periods.
 Other significant operating results included:
 -- Assets totaled $7.23 billion at March 31, 1992, up
 $581.20 million (8.7 percent) from one year ago and
 $210.53 million (3.0 percent) from year-end 1991.
 -- Loans (net of unearned income but before reserves) totaled
 $4.81 billion, up $279.01 million (6.2 percent) from one year
 ago and $71.52 million (1.5 percent) from year-end 1991.
 -- Deposits totaled $5.39 billion, up $359.45 million
 (7.1 percent) from one year ago and $60.93 million
 (1.1 percent) from year-end 1991.
 -- The bid price of First Security common stock was $34.25 per
 share at the close of the market on March 31, 1992, up
 83.4 percent from one year ago, and equal to 146.62 percent of
 the stock's book value at that date. This was above the
 $18.67 and $28.50 price per share and 82.40 percent and
 122.32 percent of book value for the year-ago and year-end 1991
 dates, respectively.
 In January 1992, First Security Bank of Idaho acquired The First National Bank of North Idaho with $160 million in assets and 10 branches in a pooling-of-interests merger. Under applicable accounting rules, this transaction was not material to First Security Corp.'s consolidated operations, so historical amounts were not restated.
 In April 1992, First Security Bank of Oregon purchased the Bank of Willamette Valley with $27 million in assets and one branch in Dallas, Ore.
 Several key industrial segments of the Intermountain West recorded accelerated economic growth in the first quarter of 1992, and the outlook for the balance of 1992 remains favorable. Residential construction activity is booming, with single-family building permits for January and February up 86 percent in Idaho and 36 percent in Utah over the same 1991 periods. Home sales have also been strong, and with the early-April softening in mortgage rates, demand is expected to remain firm in the months ahead. Automobile sales also displayed noticeable improvement in the first quarter. This key indicator of consumer confidence reflected the favorable employment and income gains characteristic of 1991 and continuing into the first quarter of 1992.
 New job growth in Utah through March remained a solid 2.25 percent higher than March 1991, while February employment gains in Idaho were a very strong 4.50 percent higher than a year ago. Although there remains some uncertainty regarding cutbacks in defense-related employment, it appears that 1992 defense-related job losses may be less than the 3,500 reduction experienced in 1991. Several major corporations have completed or announced plans for major capital investments that will significantly expand jobs in First Security's market areas.
 First Security is the largest financial services organization headquartered in the Intermountain West. Incorporated in 1928, it is the oldest multistate bank holding company in the United States. First Security operates 208 full-service banking offices in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming. Other subsidiaries include a leasing company, two insurance companies, an investment management company and a full-service broker/dealer operation.
 -0- 4/16/92
 /CONTACT: Scott Ulbrich of First Security, 801-350-5706/
 (FSCO) CO: First Security Corp. ST: Utah IN: FIN SU: ERN


MC -- DV002 -- 9063 04/16/92 08:01 EDT
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Date:Apr 16, 1992
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