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NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS, INC. REPORTS EARNINGS GAINS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR

 WEST PATERSON, N.J., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- National Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCBR), reported that earnings for the full year of 1992 increased 92 percent to $23.8 million as compared with $12.4 million for 1991. Earnings for the fourth quarter of 1992 were $7.1 million, a gain of 126 percent when compared with $3.1 million for the fourth quarter of 1991. On a fully diluted basis, earnings per common share were $2.12 for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, and $.60 for the fourth quarter, representing increases of 78 percent and 100 percent respectively, from the comparable periods of 1991.
 Robert M. Kossick, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, stated "1992 earnings reflect a marked improvement in important segments of our operations. NCBR's improved earnings primarily resulted from an increased level of core earnings and lower costs related to problem loans and foreclosed real estate. Core earnings were supported by a solid deposit base which, at year-end, consisted of 97 percent core deposits, including 32 percent demand deposits. These lower cost deposits helped generate a net-interest margin of 5.16 percent for 1992. Earnings also benefited from an 8 percent growth in service fee income and effective control of non-interest expense."
 Mr. Kossaick further stated, "We were also pleased to note that non- performing assets which include non-performing loans, other real estate, and in-substance foreclosures, declined 33 percent from $188.3 million at the end of 1991 to $125.5 million at year-end 1992, and non- performing loans decreased by 23 percent from $85.8 million a year ago to $66.1 million at Dec. 31, 1992. The Allowance for Loan and Lease Loss coverage stood at 104.56 percent of non-performing loans, and 3.12 percent of total loans at the end of 1992, as compared with 88.42 percent and 3.08 percent, respectively, one year ago. Importantly, including the issuance of $27.2 million in new preferred stock, capital grew 21 percent to $260.4 million, and, at Dec. 31, 1992, the company's leverage ratio of Tier 1 capital to average quarterly assets stood at 6.37 percent. Tier I and Combined Tier I and Tier II risk adjusted capital ratios were 10.48 percent and 11.75 percent, respectively."
 National Community Banks, Inc., with assets of $4.182 billion at Dec. 31, 1992, serves New Jersey with 117 facilities in 13 counties.
 NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS, INC.
 Consolidated Financial Highlights
 (Dollars in thousands except per share amounts)
 Percent
 Quarter ended Dec. 31 1992 1991 Change
 Net income $ 7,100 $3,138 126.3
 Per common share:
 Primary earnings per share 0.61 0.30 103.3
 Fully diluted earnings per share 0.60 0.30 100.0
 Cash dividends declared 0.225 0.175 28.6
 Return on average assets (In pcts.) 0.70 0.32 --
 Return on average equity (In pcts.) 11.00 5.90 --
 Net interest margin (In pcts.) 5.14 4.99 --
 Year-to-Date
 Net income $23,785 $12,384 92.1
 Per common share:
 Primary earnings per share 2.14 1.19 79.8
 Fully diluted earnings per share 2.12 1.19 78.2
 Cash dividends declared 0.75 1.05 -28.6
 Return on average assets (In pcts.) 0.60 0.31 --
 Return on average equity (In pcts.) 10.02 5.83 --
 Net interest margin (In pcts.) 5.16 5.02 --
 At Period-End
 Assets $4,181,508 $4,020,701 4.0
 Loans 2,215,985 2,461,571 -10.0
 Allowance for possible
 loan losses 69,073 75,847 -8.9
 Investment securities 1,153,190 785,960 46.7
 Deposits 3,812,027 3,662,422 4.1
 Demand deposits 1,232,647 1,093,380 12.7
 Core deposits 3,715,869 3,535,066 5.1
 Shareholders' equity 260,384 215,002 21.1
 Book value per common share 21.80 20.55 6.1
 Leverage capital ratio (In pcts.) 6.37 5.48 --
 Tier 1 capital to risk -
 adjusted assets (In pcts.) 10.48 7.94 --
 Combined Tier 1 and Tier 2
 capital to risk - adjusted
 assets (In pcts.) 11.75 9.21 --
 Asset Quality
 Non-performing loans 66,060 85,778 -23.0
 Delinquent loans (30 days and over) 97,022 178,932 -45.8
 Allowance for Possible Loan Losses
 as a Percent of:
 Loans at period - end 3.12 3.08 --
 Non-performing loans 104.56 88.42 --
 Net charge-offs as a percent of
 average loans 0.99 1.12 --
 Other real estate (ORE) 59,421 102,483 -42.0
 Net carrying value of ORE as
 a percent of original
 loan balances 57.80 70.98 --
 Non-performing assets 125,481 188,261 -33.3
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Anthony J. Franchina, executive vice president and treasurer (financial), 201-357-7106, or Arthur C. Ramirez, first senior vice president (media), 201-357-7109, both of National Community Banks, Inc./
 (NCBR)


CO: National Community Banks, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU: ERN

SM-KW -- NY109 -- 4173 01/12/93 16:17 EST
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