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OMEGA FINANCIAL EARNINGS UP 9.3 PERCENT

                 OMEGA FINANCIAL EARNINGS UP 9.3 PERCENT
    STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Omega Financial


Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: OMEF) reported a 9.3 percent improvement in net income for the first quarter of 1992.
    The bank holding company, which operates The Russell National Bank headquartered in Lewistown, Pa., and the Peoples National Bank of Central Pennsylvania headquartered in State College, earned $1.632 million compared to $1.493 million for the same period last year.
    Omega's chairman and chief executive officer, David B. Lee, said the increased earnings resulted from a strong net interest margin, the difference between Omega's cost of funds and the earnings from its assets. Omega's tax equivalent net interest margin increased to 5.19 percent from 4.75 percent a year ago.
    "The sharp drop in interest rates has been a positive factor for Omega. Our net interest margin has continued to improve since the end of the year," said Lee.
    Omega's year-to-date return on average equity improved to 13.09 percent from 12.93 percent a year ago. Return on assets was 1.31 percent at the close of the quarter compared to 1.22 percent at the end of 1991's first quarter. The corporation ended the first quarter of 1992 with an average equity to assets ratio of 9.97 percent.
    "We are very pleased with the performance so far," Lee said. "There are some unpredictable variables ahead, though. Net interest margins will level off as falling interest rates reduce loan yields. And, of course, the biggest question facing banks is still unanswered -- how much higher will FDIC premiums go? Even with the recent postponement of the increase we expected in June, we're certain premiums will ultimately be higher."
    Omega, which operates, through is?ubsidiaries, 22 banking offices in Centre, Clinton, Juniata and Mifflin counties, listed its common stock on the NASDAQ National Market starting on April 7.  In its first week of trading, sales of Omega's common stock were reported DM-MH -- PG014 -- 1901 04/23/92 12:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 1992
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