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FIRST SECURITY REPORTS RECORD FULL YEAR EARNINGS, AS YEAR-END ASSETS TOP $7.0 BILLION

 FIRST SECURITY REPORTS RECORD FULL YEAR EARNINGS,
 AS YEAR-END ASSETS TOP $7.0 BILLION
 SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- First Security Corp. (NASDAQ: FSCO) today reported net income of $15.59 million for the fourth quarter of 1991, an increase of $7.80 million (100.2 percent) over the fourth quarter of 1990, and an increase of $0.27 million (1.8 percent) over the third quarter of 1991. Net income for the 1991 year totalled $59.55 million, up $13.84 million (30.3 percent) over 1990's total of $45.72 million.
 For the quarter, fully-diluted net income per share was $0.63, up $0.28 (80.0 percent) from one year ago. For the year, net income per share was $2.51, up $0.49 (24.3 percent) over 1990. 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, "Earnings growth has continued for five consecutive years, and in 1991 resulted from increased outstandings in the Corporation's loan portfolio and other earning assets, lower funding costs, and increased non-interest income."
 First Security's net interest income on a fully-taxable equivalent (FTE) basis was $73.70 million in the fourth quarter of 1991, up $7.03 million (10.5 percent) over the fourth quarter of 1990 and $1.33 million (1.8 percent) over the third quarter of 1991. For the 1991 year, FTE net interest income totalled $281.98 million, an increase of $22.28 million (8.6 percent) over 1990.
 These increases were due primarily to growth of investment securities and consumer loans added in part by recent acquisitions. In addition, First Security took advantage of declining interest rates to reduce its funding costs and increase its net interest margin (the ratio of FTE net interest income to earning assets) from 4.53 percent in 1990 to 4.63 percent in 1991.
 Non-performing assets, which include non-accrual and renegotiated loans and leases plus other real estate and other foreclosed assets (ORE), totalled $93.56 million at year-end 1991, down $10.13 million (9.8 percent) from year-end 1990 and down $9.43 million (9.2 percent) from Sept. 30, 1991. Non-performing assets equalled 1.96 percent of total loans, leases and ORE at year-end 1991, down from 2.25 percent at year-end 1990 and 2.21 percent at Sept. 30, 1991.
 For the 1991 year, the provision for loan losses totalled $45.26 million, down $3.34 million (6.9 percent) from 1990. Net loan charge-offs for all of 1991 totalled $39.13 million, up $2.32 million (6.3 percent) from 1990.
 First Security continues to maintain a strong reserve position. Total loan loss reserves amounted to $88.51 million at year-end 1991, up $8.15 million (10.1 percent) from year-end 1990. The 1991 reserve equalled 1.87 percent of total loans and leases and 132.08 percent of non-accrual and renegotiated loans, up from 1.76 percent and 123.19 percent in 1990, respectively.
 Non-interest income was $29.21 million for the fourth quarter of 1991, up $6.22 million (27.1 percent) from the year-ago quarter. For the 1991 year, non-interest income totalled $105.11 million, up $15.88 million (17.8 percent) from 1990. Growth came from service charges on an increased number of customer accounts (resulting in part from acquisitions), trust service fees, servicing fees from real estate loans sold to investors, and other fees and commissions.
 Non-interest expenses were $62.77 million for the fourth quarter of 1991, an increase of $4.67 million (8.0 percent) from the year-ago quarter. For the 1991 year, non-interest expenses totalled $245.20 million, up $18.68 million (8.2 percent) from 1990.
 Both the 1991 quarterly and annual increases in non-interest expense reflect the impact of recent acquisitions, plus a $5.75 million (107.6 percent) increase in FDIC insurance premiums. These increases were partially offset as legal expense returned to a more normal level following settlement of certain outstanding litigations, which were reported in the third and fourth quarters of 1990.
 First Security's efficiency ratio (the ratio of non-interest expenses to the sum of FTE net interest income plus non-interest income) improved to 61.00 percent for the fourth quarter of 1991 from 64.81 percent for the fourth quarter of 1990. For the 1991 year, this ratio improved to 63.34 percent from 64.92 percent for 1990.
 In keeping with its long-standing policy, First Security continued to maintain a strong, conservative balance sheet, Eccles said. He pointed out that the Corporation had strengthened its equity position, with equity totalling $569.19 million at year-end 1991, up $90.02 million (18.8 percent) from year-end 1990. The resulting total equity to total assets ratio rose to 8.11 percent at year-end 1991, up from 7.38 percent at year-end 1990, while the tangible common equity to total assets ratio reached 7.93 percent at year-end 1991, up from 7.16 percent in 1990.
 Growth of equity was achieved through both the retention of earnings and the conversion to equity of the Corporation's $39.75 million in 9.50 percent convertible subordinated debentures due 2006 during the third quarter of 1991.
 Other significant operating results were:
 -- Return on average assets (ROA) increased to 0.90 percent for the fourth quarter of 1991 from 0.48 percent one year ago, while ROA for the 1991 year rose to 0.88 percent from 0.72 percent for 1990.
 -- Return on average equity (ROE) increased to 11.00 percent for the fourth quarter of 1991 from 6.45 percent one year ago, while ROE for the 1991 year rose to 11.59 percent from 9.74 percent for 1990.
 -- Assets totalled $7.02 billion at year-end 1991, up $522.46 million (8.0 percent) from 1990.
 -- Loans and leases (net of unearned income but before reserves) totalled $4.74 billion, up $170.20 million (3.7 percent) from 1990.
 -- Deposits totalled $5.33 billion, up $333.35 million (6.7 percent) from 1990.
 -- The closing bid price of First Security common stock was $28.50 per share at the close of the market on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 1991, up 90 percent from its low of $15 per share at early in 1991 and equal to 122.32 percent of the stock's $23.30 year-end book value. This compares with the closing bid price of $16.17 per share at year-end 1990, equal to 72.77 percent of the stock's $22.22 book value. Financial data reported herein include the impact of a three-for-two stock split in the form of a 50 percent stock dividend paid in June 1991 and the results of seven acquisitions completed in 1990 and four completed in 1991. Two of the 1990 acquisitions were accounted for as poolings of interests requiring restatement of historical results. The other five 1990 acquisitions were accounted for as purchases wherein results were included from the date of closing but were not restated for prior periods.
 On April 8, 1991, First Security Bank of Utah (FSBU) bought $25 million of the assets of MountainWest Financial, Ogden, Utah, in a purchase transaction. On Aug. 1, 1991, First Security Insurance Inc. bought the assets of Diversified Insurance Brokers Inc., St. George, Utah, in a purchase transaction. On Dec. 5, 1991, FSBU bought one branch of the Cottonwood Security Bank in Salt Lake County in a purchase transaction, and on Dec. 27, 1991 FSBU acquired the five offices of Utah Bank & Trust (UB&T) headquartered in Davis County, Utah, in a pooling-of-interests merger. Because of UB&T's relatively small impact on the Corporation's consolidated operations, First Security's historical amounts were not restated.
 Two other acquisitions are expected to be completed early in 1992, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. These are The First National Bank of North Idaho, which has assets of $160 million and 10 branches, and the Bank of Willamette Valley, Dallas, Ore., which has assets of $27 million and one office.
 Eccles reported that business in the Intermountain area remained generally healthy throughout 1991 and that the near-term economic outlook for 1992 appears to be favorable. A surge of net in-migration to Utah, Idaho and Oregon pushed 1991 population growth rates sharply higher. Despite the sluggish national economy, Intermountain employment and income growth rates narrowed only moderately, while construction activity and home sales actually accelerated. Overall, the real estate segment of the Intermountain economy is becoming stronger in contrast to the continued deterioration of this segment in many parts of the nation.
 Commodity prices, including beef, potatoes, and silver have slipped in recent months in the Intermountain region. Eccles noted that milk and lumber prices were higher while copper prices have been generally stable. Tourism contributed significantly to local growth during the third and fourth quarters, and another strong year is anticipated for winter activities.
 First Security is the largest financial services organization headquartered in the Intermountain West. Incorporated in 1928, it is the oldest multi-bank holding company in the United States. It operates 196 full-service banking offices in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming. Other subsidiaries include a leasing company, two insurance companies, an investment management firm and a full-service broker/dealer operation.
 -0- 1/16/92
 /CONTACT: Scott Ulbrich of First Security, 801-350-5706/
 (FSCO) CO: First Security Corp. ST: Utah IN: FIN SU: ERN


MC -- DV002 -- 0482 01/16/92 11:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 16, 1992
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