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GREAT WESTERN REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 GREAT WESTERN REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS
 BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Great Western


Financial Corp. (NYSE: GWF) today reported first quarter 1992 net earnings of $81.6 million or $.60 per share, compared with $69.2 million or $.54 per share for the first quarter of 1991.
 Earnings were affected by the adoption of new accounting pronouncements issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board which Great Western elected to recognize in the first quarter of 1992. FAS 106, which establishes financial reporting standards for employee retirement benefits other than pensions, reduced first quarter 1992 earnings by about $30 million. FAS 109, which changes the accounting treatment for income taxes on general loss reserves, requires the company to record previously unrecognized tax benefits totaling $61 million.
 Earnings before these accounting changes were $50.5 million or $.37 per share.
 During the quarter the company established a $107 million provision for loan and real estate losses, compared with $33 million in the first quarter of 1991. The company attributed the increase in reserves to the effects of the prolonged economic recession and weak real estate markets.
 "Great Western's core business operations produced good results," said James F. Montgomery, chairman and chief executive. "The company's earnings benefited from strong net interest margins and net interest income, a 57 percent increase in fee and commission income, and an increase in new loans of more than $1 billion."
 Net interest income rose to $362 million in the first quarter of 1992, compared with $289 million in the same period of 1991. The average net interest margin was 3.89 percent for the first quarter of 1992 compared with 3.02 percent a year earlier and 3.55 percent in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Total new loans for the 1992 first quarter were $3.2 billion compared with $2 billion in the first quarter of 1991. New real estate loan volume was $2.7 billion in the first quarter of 1992 compared with $1.6 billion in the same period of 1991. A high level of refinancing activity and low 30-year fixed lending rates contributed to the growth in loan volume. Fifteen- and 30-year fixed-rate loans were 66 percent of real estate loans originated in the first quarter 1992 compared with 27 percent in the same period of 1991.
 During the first quarter of 1992, Great Western acquired the 53 branches and $1.8 billion in deposits of AmeriFirst Federal Savings Bank of Miami, Fla., and completed the previously announced acquisition of $469 million in deposits from Republic Federal Savings and Loan of Woodland Hills, Calif.
 Recent branch and deposit acquisitions are part of the company's long-term strategy to build its banking branch network in key markets. A related strategy is to increase the amount of lower cost deposits which are generally checking and other transaction accounts.
 Customer accounts totaled $32.5 billion at the end of the first quarter of 1992 compared with $31.5 billion at the end of the year earlier period. Fee and commission income rose 57 percent to $29.6 million during the first quarter of 1992, from $18.9 million during the same period of 1991.
 Nonperforming assets were 4.48 percent of assets at March 31, 1992. Nonperforming assets were 4.04 percent of assets at Dec. 31, 1991 and 3.33 percent of assets at March 31, 1991.
 With assets of $39.6 billion, Great Western Financial Corp. is a diversified financial services company. Great Western operates more than 1,130 mortgage lending, retail banking, and consumer finance offices in 31 states. The company's principal line of business is a mortgage-oriented consumer bank which operates banking branch networks in California, Florida, and Washington.
 GREAT WESTERN FINANCIAL CORP.
 Consolidating Statement of Operations(a)
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share)
 Consumer
 Banking finance
 Operations group 1992 1991
 For the three months
 ended March 31
 Interest income
 Real estate loans $639,621 --- $639,621 $754,332
 Mortgage-backed
 securities 70,945 --- 70,945 88,678
 Consumer loans 18,942 88,995 107,937 92,797
 Securities and other 17,119 1,779 18,898 35,241
 Total 746,627 90,774 837,401 971,048
 Interest expense
 Customer accounts 374,598 2,234 376,832 540,137
 Borrowings 74,768 23,809 98,577 142,174
 Total 449,366 26,043 475,409 682,311
 Net interest income 297,261 64,731 361,992 288,737
 Provision for loan
 losses 67,200 10,500 77,700 30,000
 Net interest income
 after provision for
 loan losses 230,061 54,231 284,292 258,737
 Other operating income
 Real estate services
 Loan fees 8,726 --- 8,726 6,447
 Mortgage banking
 Gain on mortgage sales 8,473 --- 8,473 4,986
 Servicing 15,057 --- 15,057 18,674
 Gains and other real
 estate operations (675) --- (675) 1,091
 Provision for real
 estate losses (29,000) --- (29,000) (3,000)
 Total 2,581 --- 2,581 28,198
 Retail banking
 Securities brokerage 6,120 --- 6,120 2,139
 Fees 23,437 --- 23,437 16,711
 Total 29,557 --- 29,557 18,850
 Net gain on securities
 and investments 211 --- 211 1,333
 Net insurance operations 1,637 4,670 6,307 6,903
 Other 70 1,275 1,345 2,612
 Total other operating
 income 34,056 5,945 40,001 57,896
 Operating and
 administrative expenses 199,808 36,694 236,502 199,362
 Earnings before taxes
 and accounting changes 64,309 23,482 87,791 117,271
 Taxes on income 27,500 9,800 37,300 48,100
 Earnings before
 accounting changes 36,809 13,682 50,491 69,171
 Accounting changes
 Postretirement benefits
 cost, net (21,870) (8,036) (29,906) ---
 Income taxes 61,000 --- 61,000 ---
 Net earnings $75,939 $5,646 $81,585 $69,171
 Primary earnings per
 common share before
 accounting changes $.37 $.54
 Fully diluted earnings
 per common share before
 accounting changes .37 .54
 Primary earnings per
 common share .60 .54
 Fully diluted earnings
 per common share .60 .54
 Dividends per common share .22 .21
 Operating and
 administrative expenses
 (annualized) as a percent
 of average assets 2.13 pct 7.56 pct 2.40 pct 2.01 pct
 Net earnings (annualized)
 as a percent of:
 Average assets .83 pct .70 pct
 Average equity 13.94 pct 13.67 pct
 (a) Unaudited
 GREAT WESTERN FINANCIAL CORP.
 Selected Financial Statistics(a)
 (Dollar in thousands, except per share)
 At March 31, 1992 1991
 Assets
 Cash, U.S. government
 and other securities $1,990,512 $2,960,522
 Mortgage-backed securities 1,583,058 2,495,468
 Mortgage-backed securities
 held for sale 1,969,758 1,371,633
 Loans receivable, net 30,658,270 30,644,502
 Loans receivable held for sale 270,154 504,460
 Real estate held for sale
 or development, net 1,125,891 1,000,270
 Interest receivable and
 other assets 783,298 827,175
 Investment in Federal Home
 Loan Banks 312,807 314,294
 Premises and equipment-at cost 544,345 456,109
 Intangibles arising from
 acquisitions 355,138 335,293
 Total $39,593,231 $40,909,726
 Liabilities
 Customer accounts $32,529,626 $31,504,377
 Borrowings 3,567,207 6,094,501
 rred 412,374 489,611
 Stockholders' equity 2,377,423 2,052,242
 Total $39,593,231 $40,909,726
 Stockholders' equity per
 common share $17.26 $15.96
 Common shares outstanding 130,229,398 128,552,968
 Loans serviced for others $13,459,828 $13,003,530
 Net interest margin for the period
 Average yield on:
 Loans 9.40 pct. 10.76 pct.
 Mortgage-backed securities 8.11 9.04
 Securities 6.39 8.92
 Earning assets 9.18 10.50
 Average cost of:
 Customer accounts 4.85 7.18
 Borrowings 8.09 8.89
 Funds 5.29 7.48
 Net interest margin 3.89 pct. 3.02 pct.
 At March 31,
 Nonperforming assets and
 troubled debt restructurings
 Delinquent loans (essentially
 90 days or more delinquent) $758,719 $492,570
 Loans in-substance foreclosed 459,640 489,048
 Real estate owned 424,944 275,567
 Troubled debt restructurings 160,652 122,752
 Total $1,803,955 $1,379,937
 Percent to total assets 4.48 pct. 3.33 pct.
 Great Western Bank, a Federal
 Savings Bank, fully phased-in
 capital ratios
 Leverage ratio 4.91 pct 4.04 pct.
 Tangible capital 4.91 4.04
 Risk-based capital 9.40 8.42
 (a) Unaudited
 GREAT WESTERN FINANCIAL CORP.
 Selected Financial Statistics(a)
 (Dollars in thousands)
 At or for the three months ended March 31, 1992 1991
 New loans originated
 Real estate $2,714,686 $1,627,464
 Consumer 496,939 420,712
 Total new loans 3,211,625 2,048,176
 Mortgage sales 1,795,887 392,473
 Increase in customer accounts 1,959,258 1,855,339
 Accumulated provision for estimated losses
 Beginning balance $263,050 $278,846
 Provision for loan losses
 Real estate loans 60,700 18,200
 Consumer finance 10,500 7,700
 Bankcard 6,337 2,890
 Other 163 1,210
 Total provision for loan losses 77,700 30,000
 Net charge-offs
 Real estate loans (28,424) (33,353)
 Consumer finance (7,642) (7,221)
 Bankcard (5,961) (3,251)
 Other (1,095) (364)
 Total net charge-offs (43,122) (44,189)
 Ending balance $297,628 $264,657
 Average common shares outstanding
 Without dilution 130,466,382 128,543,921
 Fully diluted 136,808,294 129,227,122
 Note: Accounting Changes
 The company adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106 "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions" (FAS 106) as of Jan. 1, 1992. FAS 106 requires that the expected cost of these postretirement benefits be charged to expense during the period that eligible employees render such service.
 The unfunded benefit obligation as of Jan. 1, 1992, shown as a liability on the Consolidated Statement of Financial Condition and as an accounting change on the Consolidated Statement of Operations, was $50.7 million less tax benefits of $20.8 million or an aggregate net charge of $29.9 million. Actual expense for costs incurred during the three months ended March 31, 1992 was $1.2 million.
 The company also adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109 "Accounting for Income Taxes" (FAS 109) which supersedes Statement No. 96 "Accounting for Income Taxes," which was adopted by the company in 1987. FAS 109 requires the company to record previously unrecognized tax benefits totaling $61 million as of Dec. 31, 1991, for its general loss reserves.
 (a) Unaudited
 -0- 4/16/92
 /CONTACT: Ian Campbell, 213-852-3773, Steve Hawkins, 213-852-3766, or Gordon Turner (in Florida), 407-642-5583, all of Great Western Financial/
 (GWF) CO: Great Western Financial Corp. ST: California IN: FIN SU: ERN


JL-EH -- LA014 -- 9108 04/16/92 09:11 EDT
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