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First Commercial Corp.

FIRST COMMERCIAL CORP.

Announces 15 Percent Dividend Increase

LITTLE ROCK -- Barnett Grace, chairman and chief executive officer of First Commercial Corp., announced July 16 that the bank holding company will increase the quarterly cash dividend on its common stock 15 percent from 17 cents to 19.5 cents per share, resulting in a new annual dividend rate of 78 cents.

Grace also announced continued strong earnings gains, above-peer profitability and favorable asset quality performance in the second quarter.

The increased cash dividend will become effective with the third-quarter dividend payment that will be payable Oct. 1 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 16.

The increase follows previous cash dividend rate increases in each of the past four years, producing a 16.6 percent compound annual growth in cash dividends for shareholders from 1985 to 1991. The cash dividend increase was unanimously approved by the First Commercial board as a result of continued favorable earnings results, maintenance of a strong financial condition and positive overall performance.

First Commercial achieved a return on average assets of 1.21 percent and a return on average common shareholders' equity of 16.58 percent in the first half of 1991. The results compare with a 1.19 percent return on assets and a 16.03 percent return on common equity reported for the first half of 1990.

First Commercial reported earnings of 69 cents a share in the second quarter that ended June 30, an increase of 15 percent from the 60 cents a share reported for the second quarter of 1990.

For the six months that ended June 30, the company earned $1.34 a share, compared with 1990's $1.17, an increase of 14.5 percent.

Net income for the three months that ended June 30 was $6.5 million, up 16 percent from $5.6 million in 1990's second quarter. For the six months that ended June 30, net income was $12.7 million, 14.9 percent above 1990's $11 million.

Earnings per share and net income for 1991 are after the deduction of dividends paid on perpetual preferred stock issued during the first quarter.

Total assets as of June 30 were $2.203 billion, 4.8 percent above the $2.101 billion reported on June 30, 1990. Total loans and leases, net of unearned income, increased 17 percent to $1.343 billion by the end of June from $1.147 billion the prior year.

Total deposits rose 4.5 percent to $1.961 billion, up from $1.877 billion in 1990.

Contact: William Garner, First Commercial Corp., 200 First Commercial Building, Little Rock, 72203, 371-7088.
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Title Annotation:Public company coporate reports
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:company profile
Date:Aug 12, 1991
Words:435
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