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MERRILL LYNCH REPORTS RECORD QUARTERLY NET EARNINGS; NINE-MONTH NET EARNINGS EXCEED FULL-YEAR 1992 RESULTS; RAISES DIVIDEND, DECLARES SPLIT

 NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MER) today reported record quarterly net earnings of $360 million, up 57 percent from the 1992 third quarter. Quarterly earnings per common share were $3.14 primary and $3.12 fully diluted compared with $2.04 primary and fully diluted in the 1992 third quarter.
 At a special meeting, the corporation's board of directors approved a 14 percent increase in the regular quarterly dividend, and a two-for- one common stock split.
 The regular quarterly dividend will be increased by $.05 to $.40 per share on a present (pre-split) basis. The dividend will be payable Nov. 17, 1993, to stockholders of record on Oct. 22, 1993.
 The two-for-one common stock split will be effected in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend, payable Nov. 24, 1993 to stockholders of record Oct. 22, 1993.
 Daniel P. Tully, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "The dedication of Merrill Lynch employees to our core principles, including client focus and teamwork, is a major reason behind the achievement of a third consecutive quarter of record net earnings.
 "We are particularly pleased that our sustained earnings growth enables us to increase our quarterly dividend for the third time in less than 18 months, and that the strong price performance of our common stock prompted the Board of Directors to declare a two-for-one stock split. This split is designed to place the price of our common stock in a trading range that will continue to be attractive to a broad range of investors," Mr. Tully said.
 Nine Month Earnings
 Net earnings for the first nine months of 1993 were also a record, up 56 percent to $1.05 billion, and exceeded full-year 1992 results.
 Nine month earnings per common share were $9.21 primary and $9.14 fully diluted, compared with $5.87 primary and fully diluted in the corresponding 1992 period. Earnings per common share do not reflect the two-for-one stock split.
 Third Quarter Earnings Commentary
 Pretax earnings rose 63 percent to $642 million compared with $394 million in the corresponding 1992 quarter. The pretax profit margin increased to 24.3 percent compared with 18.3 percent in the prior year's quarter.
 The net profit margin advanced to 13.6 percent compared with 10.6 percent in last year's third quarter, despite an increase in the effective tax rate from 42 percent to 44 percent.
 Third quarter net revenues (revenues after interest expense) advanced to a record $2.64 billion, 22 percent above the 1992 third quarter, while non-interest expenses rose 13 percent.
 Revenues
 Commission revenues increased 23 percent to $690 million as continued high levels of investor activity led to advances in listed securities and mutual fund commissions.
 Increased client order flow contributed to a 20 percent increase in principal transaction revenues, which rose to $733 million. Higher revenues were achieved in swaps and derivatives, equities and money markets instruments.
 Investment banking revenues established a new record, rising to $452 million, a 24 percent increase over last year's quarter. Contributing to this strong performance were higher underwriting revenues in equity and corporate debt issuance, as well as higher revenues from strategic advisory services. In the 1993 third quarter, Merrill Lynch was again the top global underwriter of debt and equity securities both in the U.S. and globally. Year-to-date, Merrill Lynch lead managed a total of $155 billion in financings on behalf of its clients, with a nine-month market share of 17.3 percent domestically and 13.5 percent globally, according to Securities Data Co.
 Asset management and custodial fees also reached record levels, up 18 percent to $250 million. Client assets under fee-based management by Merrill Lynch Asset Management rose 15 percent from the year-earlier period to $155 billion at quarter-end. The majority of this increase was in stock and bond funds, which grew 32 percent to $66 billion.
 Other revenues advanced 61 percent over the 1992 third quarter, and net interest and dividend profit increased 3 percent.
 Expenses
 Consistent with business activity, non-interest expenses were $2.0 billion, up 13 percent from last year's quarter. The largest expense category, compensation and benefits, increased 18 percent to $1.3 billion as a result of higher business volume and profitability. Compensation and benefits expense as a percentage of net revenues declined to 49.1 percent from 50.9 percent in the year-ago period.
 Occupancy expenses were $117 million, down 2 percent from the 1992 third quarter. Communications and equipment rental expenses increased 7 percent to $96 million due in part to higher levels of business activity. Depreciation and amortization increased 3 percent from last year's third quarter.
 Among other expense categories, brokerage, clearing and exchange fees increased 1 percent to $75 million. Advertising and market development expenses rose 27 percent to $99 million, primarily as a result of heightened business activity, increases in Financial Consultant recognition expenses and discretionary sales promotion programs. Professional fees and other expenses increased 1 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
 The effective tax rate increased to 44 percent for the 1993 third quarter as a result of legislation raising corporate income tax rates retroactive to the beginning of the year.
 As previously reported, 1992 results were restated for the early adoption of two accounting changes, SFAS No. 106 and SFAS No. 109.
 MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC.
 Preliminary Unaudited Earnings Summary
 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
 FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED PCT. OF
 DOLLAR
 PCT. PCT. CHANGE
 SEPT. 24, OF SEPT. 25, OF INCR
 1993 REVS(A) 1992(B) REVS(A) (DECR)
 REVENUES:
 COMMISSIONS $ 2,070,652 17 $ 1,816,893 18 14
 INTEREST AND
 DIVIDENDS 5,056,186 42 4,333,137 43 17
 PRINCIPAL
 TRANSACTIONS 2,222,063 18 1,735,266 17 28
 INVESTMENT BANKING 1,311,367 11 1,125,091 11 17
 ASSET MGMT & CUSTL
 FEES 726,793 6 648,789 6 12
 OTHER 691,606 6 501,632 5 38
 TOTAL REVENUES 12,078,667 100 10,160,808 100 19
 INTEREST EXPENSE 4,261,808 35 3,648,471 36 17
 NET REVENUES 7,816,859 65 6,512,337 64 20
 NON-INTEREST EXPENSES:
 COMPENSATION &
 BENEFITS 3,840,423 49 3,296,867 51 16
 OCCUPANCY 456,634 6 359,379 5 27
 COMMUNIC & EQUIP
 RENTAL 279,142 4 262,031 4 7
 DEPREC & AMORTIZ 216,819 3 207,976 3 4
 BKRG,CLRG & EXCH
 FEES 226,294 3 213,646 3 6
 ADVERT & MARKET
 DEVEL 271,203 3 230,443 4 18
 PROFESSIONAL FEES 197,831 3 191,366 3 3
 OTHER 500,985 6 490,345 8 2
 TOTAL NON-INTEREST
 EXPS 5,989,331 77 5,252,053 81 14
 EARNINGS BEFORE
 INCOME TAXES AND
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING
 PRINCIPLES 1,827,528 23 1,260,284 19 45
 INCOME TAX EXP. 780,408 10 529,320 8 47
 EARNINGS BEFORE
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING
 PRINCIPLES 1,047,120 13 730,964 11 43
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES,
 (NET OF APPLICABLE
 INCOME TAXES) -- -- (58,580) (1) N/M
 NET EARNINGS $ 1,047,120 13 $ 672,384 10 56
 PREFERRED STOCK
 DIVIDENDS $ 3,945 $ 4,973
 NET EARNINGS
 APPLICABLE TO COMMON
 STOCKHOLDERS $ 1,043,175 $ 667,411
 EARNINGS PER
 COMMON SHARE (C):
 PRIMARY:
 EARNINGS BEFORE
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING
 PRINCIPLES $ 9.21 $ 6.38
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES -- (0.51)
 NET EARNINGS $ 9.21 $ 5.87
 FULLY DILUTED:
 EARNINGS BEFORE
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING
 PRINCIPLES $ 9.14 $ 6.38
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING
 PRINCIPLES -- (0.51)
 NET EARNINGS $ 9.14 $ 5.87
 AVERAGE SHARES (C):
 PRIMARY 113,318 113,704
 FULLY DILUTED 114,072 113,704
 (A) Revenues and interest expense are presented as a percentage of total revenues. Non-interest expenses, cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles and earnings are presented as a percentage of net revenues.
 (B) 1992 results have been restated to reflect the Adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards Nos. 106 and 109.
 (C) Earnings per common share amounts and average shares used in computing earnings per common share do not give effect to the two-for-one stock split, effected in the form of a stock dividend, declared by the board of directors on Oct. 11, 1993 and payable on Nov. 24, 1993.
 MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC.
 Preliminary Unaudited Earnings Summary
 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
 PCT. OF
 FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED DOLLAR
 PCT. PCT. CHANGE
 SEPT. 24, OF SEPT. 25, OF INCR
 1993 REVS(A) 1992(B) REVS(A) (DECR)
 REVENUES:
 COMMISSIONS $ 690,491 17 $ 562,861 16 23
 INTEREST AND
 DIVIDENDS 1,765,784 42 1,482,404 44 19
 PRINCIPAL
 TRANSACTIONS 732,774 18 609,507 18 20
 INVESTMENT BANKING 452,165 11 364,640 11 24
 ASSET MGMT & CUSTL
 FEES 250,232 6 211,851 6 18
 OTHER 255,504 6 158,942 5 61
 TOTAL REVENUES 4,146,950 100 3,390,205 100 22
 INTEREST EXPENSE 1,506,428 36 1,230,231 36 22
 NET REVENUES 2,640,522 64 2,159,974 64 22
 NON-INTEREST EXPENSES:
 COMPENSATION &
 BENEFITS 1,296,829 49 1,100,112 51 18
 OCCUPANCY 116,862 4 119,528 6 (2)
 COMMUNIC & EQUIP
 RENTAL 95,979 4 89,772 4 7
 DEPREC & AMORTIZ 73,780 3 71,571 3 3
 BKRG,CLRG & EXCH
 FEES 75,185 3 74,418 3 1
 ADVERT & MARKET
 DEVEL 98,900 4 77,732 4 27
 PROFESSIONAL FEES 70,807 3 70,382 3 1
 OTHER 169,881 6 162,167 8 5
 TOTAL NON-INTEREST
 EXPS 1,998,223 76 1,765,682 82 13
 EARNINGS BEFORE
 INCOME TAXES 642,299 24 394,292 18 63
 INCOME TAX EXPENSE 282,612 10 165,603 7 71
 NET EARNINGS $ 359,687 14 $ 228,689 11 57
 PREFERRED STOCK
 DIVIDENDS $ 1,271 $ 1,442
 NET EARNINGS APPLICABLE
 TO COMMON
 STOCKHOLDERS $ 358,416 $ 227,247
 EARNINGS PER
 COMMON SHARE (C):
 PRIMARY $ 3.14 $ 2.04
 FULLY DILUTED $ 3.12 $ 2.04
 AVERAGE SHARES (C):
 PRIMARY 114,190 111,605
 FULLY DILUTED 114,810 111,605
 (A) Revenues and interest expense are presented as a percentage of total revenues. Non-interest expenses and earnings are presented as a percentage of net revenues.
 (B) 1992 results have been restated to reflect the Adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards Nos. 106 and 109.
 (C) Earnings per common share amounts and average shares used in computing earnings per common share do not give effect to the two-for-one stock split, effected in the form of a stock dividend, declared by the board of directors on Oct. 11, 1993 and payable on Nov. 24, 1993.
 -0- 10/12/93
 /CONTACT: James Wiggins, 212-449-7280 (media relations), or Monica Prihoda, 212-449-7293, both of Merrill Lynch & Co./
 (MER)


CO: Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ERN DIV

PS -- NY017 -- 0969 10/12/93 09:37 EDT
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