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SOCIETY CORPORATION REPORTS A 38 PERCENT INCREASE IN PER SHARE EARNINGS AND LOWER NONPERFORMING ASSETS AND CHARGE OFFS

 SOCIETY CORPORATION REPORTS A 38 PERCENT INCREASE


IN PER SHARE EARNINGS AND LOWER NONPERFORMING ASSETS AND CHARGE OFFS
 CLEVELAND, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Society Corporation (NYSE: SCY) today reported net earnings per common share of $1.38 for the third quarter of 1992, up 38 percent from the year-ago quarter. The third quarter also reflected improved credit quality trends including a $52.3 million, or 8 percent, decline in nonperforming assets from the end of the second quarter and a $96.5 million, or 14 percent, decline from the third quarter of last year.
 For the nine months ending Sept. 30, 1992, earnings per common share totaled $3.58, up 26 percent from $2.85 for the same period last year. Net income of $214.7 million for the nine months of this year included two special items related to the first quarter acquisition of Ameritrust: a $34.2 million after tax restructuring charge taken in the 1992 first quarter and a second quarter $13.2 million after tax gain on divested branches. Excluding these items, nine month net income would have been $235.7 million, up 40 percent, bringing year-to-date earnings per common share to $3.94, up 38 percent from the same year-ago period.
 "Third quarter activities included progress on a number of fronts," said Robert W. Gillespie, chairman and chief executive officer. "Most important was the continued integration of Ameritrust which included the previously announced merger of our two lead banks in Ohio only four months after the merger of the holding companies. This, along with the upcoming merger of our Indiana banks later this month, sets the stage for accelerated expense savings and earnings growth in coming quarters. We are confident that targeted savings of $130 million on a cumulative basis will be attained in 1993 and that next year will represent our twelfth consecutive year of record earnings."
 Commenting further, Gillespie noted, "We are also very much encouraged by the improvement in several credit quality measures. Declining nonperforming loans and assets reflect aggressive efforts to work through the credit problems associated with the Ameritrust acquisition. Looking ahead, these trends are expected to continue though the magnitude of the improvement will depend, in part, on future economic conditions."
 "Other strategic initiatives included the previously announced signing of a definitive agreement to acquire First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Fort Myers (NASDAQ: FFMY), a strong thrift headquartered in fast-growing Ft. Myers, Fla. with approximately $1.1 billion in total assets. This acquisition is anticipated to close early next year. Also, the acquisition of First of America Bank -- Monroe (Michigan) in late September, with total assets of $160 million, increased our Southern Michigan presence to about $1.0 billion. We are also very excited about our participation in the recently announced joint venture, Electronic Payment Services, Inc. (EPS), which will be the largest processor of automated teller machine transactions in the U.S. Lastly, and reflecting our growing presence in the financial services marketplace, we listed our common shares on the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 1, 1992, under the symbol 'SCY'."
 In reviewing third quarter performance, James W. Wert, vice chairman and chief financial officer, said, "Quarterly core earnings continue to show improvement as demonstrated by a return on average assets of 1.43 percent and return on average common equity of 19.03 percent. This compares to 1.28 percent and 17.78 percent, respectively, in the 1992 second quarter after excluding the second quarter gain on the sale of branches related to the Ameritrust divestiture requirement. During the third quarter, operating results reflected a higher level of net interest income despite a decline in the level of average earning assets as the net interest margin expanded to 5.51 percent from 5.33 percent in the 1992 second quarter. The net interest margin continues to benefit from historically wide spreads, previously implemented balance sheet management strategies, and favorable core funding conditions in our major banking markets."
 As in previous quarters, third quarter noninterest income and noninterest expense levels were impacted by several non-recurring items related to the merger of the holding companies in March and the lead banks in July of this year.
 Noninterest income of $124.2 million was unchanged from the second quarter after excluding that quarter's $20.1 million one-time divestiture gain, but up $8.9 million from the third quarter of 1991. Trust income, at $49.4 million, was down $8.6 million from the second quarter level but up $1.6 million from the year-ago quarter. Second quarter 1992 trust income included the favorable impact of one-time accrual adjustments totaling $5.5 million, which were partially offset by nondeductible write-offs of trust intangibles of $3.0 million taken in the same quarter. Reflecting, in part, strength in other fee- generating business, other income of $35.4 million was up $8.9 million from the second quarter and $5.7 million from the third quarter of 1991.
 Third quarter noninterest expense of $249.7 million was up $1.3 million from the 1992 second quarter but down $5.9 million, or 2 percent, from the prior-year quarter. Compared to the second quarter, salaries and benefits expense declined $3.5 million, offset during the quarter by higher net occupancy, equipment, and other expenses associated with the merger, as well as a $2.0 million increase in OREO expense.
 Commenting on credit quality issues, Wert noted, "Reduced levels of nonperforming loans and assets and improved coverage of NPLs and NPAs resulted in a third quarter provision for loan losses of $33.9 million, down from $46.0 million in the 1992 second quarter and $11.4 million less than third quarter net charge offs. As such, the allowance for loan losses as a percent of loans decreased slightly to 3.26 percent from 3.29 percent at June 30, 1992. However, as a percentage of nonperforming loans the allowance for loan losses increased to 130 percent from 104 percent at the end of the second quarter. Given that the current high charge off level continues to reflect losses on Ameritrust problem credits for which reserves were previously established, we expect the loan loss provision to be less than net charge offs over the next several quarters."
 Nonperforming loans were $395.9 million and represented 2.51 percent of loans at Sept. 30, 1992, down from $502.1 million, or 3.16 percent, at June 30, 1992. Reflecting the transfer of some nonperforming loans to other real estate owned, quarter end nonperforming assets were only down $52.3 million, or 8 percent from the end of the second quarter and represented 2.35 percent of total assets compared to 2.66 percent at June 30, 1992.
 Compared to the year-ago quarter, the net interest margin increased to 5.51 percent from 4.69 percent with net interest income on a taxable equivalent basis increasing 5 percent. Average earning assets declined $2.5 billion or 11 percent reflecting several factors. Average loans and leases were down $1.6 billion including the impact of the 1992 second quarter required branch and loan divestiture, the non-renewal of certain Ameritrust credits, as well as the negative impact of the weak domestic economy on loan demand. The decline in other earning assets reflected the runoff of some of Ameritrust's low yielding liquid assets upon consummation of the merger.
 At Sept. 30, 1992, Society Corporation had $24.4 billion in assets and $1.8 billion in capital. The estimated September 30, 1992, Tier I capital ratio was 8.06 percent and Total Capital ratio was 11.04 percent. These ratios substantially exceed federal risk-based capital minimums and would place the Corporation in the regulatory "well capitalized" zone. Capital is expected to continue to increase in coming quarters as earnings growth accelerates due to planned expense savings being realized.
 Financial Highlights
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 Three months ended
 September 30,
 -------------------------
 Quarterly data: 1992 1991
 Performance measures ------------ ------------
 Earnings per Common Share $1.38 $1.00
 Dividends per Common Share 0.49 0.46
 Return on assets (pct) 1.43 0.93
 Return on total equity 18.74 13.64
 Return on common equity 19.03 13.76
 Net interest margin 5.51 4.69
 Efficiency ratio (1) 60.71 65.78
 Overhead ratio (1) 43.89 51.40
 Asset Quality:
 Net charge offs $45,311 $53,084
 Provision for loan losses 33,877 43,439
 Net charge offs to average loans (pct) 1.16 1.22
 Nine months ended
 September 30,
 -------------------------
 Year-to-date data: 1992 1991
 Performance measures ------------ ------------
 Earnings per Common Share $3.58 $2.85
 Dividends per Common Share 1.47 1.38
 Return on assets (pct) 1.21 0.89
 Return on total equity 16.74 13.33
 Return on common equity 16.97 13.44
 Net interest margin 5.33 4.59
 Efficiency ratio (1) 61.63 65.65
 Overhead ratio (1) 45.40 51.22
 Asset Quality:
 Net charge offs $130,465 $151,223
 Provision for loan losses 116,257 139,887
 Net charge offs to average loans (pct) 1.07 1.14
 (1) Excludes net investment securities gains, gain on sale of
 branches and loans, and restructuring charges.
 Financial Highlights
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 Asset Quality Data: 9-30-92 12-31-91 9-30-91
 Period end data: ------------ ------------ ------------
 Nonaccrual loans $394,617 $482,146 $540,924
 Restructured loans 1,246 7,587 2,553
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Nonperforming loans 395,863 489,733 543,477
 Other real estate owned 161,877 125,607 118,007
 Other nonperforming
 assets 16,551 11,701 9,351
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Nonperforming assets $574,291 $627,041 $670,835
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Allowance for loan losses $512,736 $525,916 $449,572
 Allowance for loan losses
 to loans (pct) 3.26 3.12 2.64
 Allowance for loan losses
 to nonperforming loans 129.52 107.39 82.72
 Other:
 Goodwill $164,625 $172,540 $174,762
 Other intangibles 121,508 136,275 140,948
 Per Common Share:
 Book value per share $29.95 $27.63 $29.58
 Stock price 56.50 49.50 46.75
 Shares outstanding 58,055,093 57,730,026 57,352,481
 Capital adequacy ratios:
 Tier 1 ratios (2)(3) (pct) 8.06 7.43 7.74
 Total (2)(3) 11.04 9.71 10.15
 Leverage ratio (2) 7.16 5.92 6.27
 Tangible equity to
 tangible assets 6.28 5.33 5.61
 Total equity to
 total assets 7.38 6.47 6.75
 (2) Based on final rules effective December 31, 1992.
 (3) 9-30-92 ratio is estimated.
 Balance Sheet
 (Dollars in thousands)
 Assets: 9-30-92 12-31-91 9-30-91
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Cash and due from banks $1,432,473 $1,473,920 $1,537,302
 Interest bearing deposits 537,424 978,861 732,675
 Other short-term
 investments 294,568 664,194 872,822
 Investment securities 5,477,912 4,790,470 4,878,229
 Loans, net of
 unearned income 15,742,132 16,831,674 17,042,451
 Allowance for loan losses (512,736) (525,916) (449,572)
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Net loans 15,229,396 16,305,758 16,592,879
 Premises and equipment 406,570 327,040 342,632
 Other assets 1,010,538 1,045,315 1,059,644
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Total assets $24,388,881 $25,585,558 $26,016,183
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Liabilities and shareholders' equity:
 9-30-92 12-31-91 9-30-91
 Noninterest bearing ------------ ------------ ------------
 deposits $2,982,442 $3,410,791 $3,287,628
 Interest bearing deposits 14,344,752 16,603,972 16,918,290
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Total deposits 17,327,194 20,014,763 20,205,918
 Short-term borrowings 3,817,143 2,955,653 3,041,150
 Other liabilities 758,720 496,198 539,818
 Long-term debt 687,121 463,754 472,611
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Total liabilities 22,590,178 23,930,368 24,259,497
 Shareholders' equity:
 Preferred stock 60,000 60,000 60,000
 Common shareholders'
 equity 1,738,703 1,595,190 1,696,686
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Total liabilities and
 shareholders' equity $24,388,881 $25,585,558 $26,016,183
 ------------ ------------ ------------
 Income Statement
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 Three months ended
 September 30,
 -------------------------
 1992 1991
 Interest and fee income: ------------ ------------
 Loans $334,513 $432,634
 Investment securities 117,448 110,761
 Short-term investments 5,781 21,328
 ------------ ------------
 Total interest and fee income 457,742 564,723
 Interest expense:
 Deposits 145,188 255,220
 Short-term borrowings 20,349 36,556
 Long-term debt 10,743 8,429
 ------------ ------------
 Total interest expense 176,280 300,205
 ------------ ------------
 Net interest income 281,462 264,518
 Provision for loan losses 33,877 43,439
 ------------ ------------
 Net interest income
 after provision for loan losses 247,585 221,079
 Noninterest income:
 Trust income 49,399 47,781
 Deposit service charges 24,482 24,420
 Credit card fees 13,963 13,009
 Net investment securities gains 963 365
 Other income 35,438 29,757
 ------------ ------------
 Total noninterest income 124,245 115,332
 Noninterest expense:
 Salaries and benefits 119,257 120,196
 Net occupancy 23,276 24,408
 Equipment 19,150 18,200
 FDIC insurance 10,659 11,290
 Other expense 77,337 81,460
 ------------ ------------
 Total noninterest expense 249,679 255,554
 ------------ ------------
 Income before income taxes 122,151 80,857
 Provision for income taxes 39,345 21,159
 ------------ ------------
 Net income $82,806 $59,698
 ------------ ------------
 Net income available to Common Shares 81,249 $58,141
 Net income per Common Share $1.38 $1.00
 Weighted average outstanding shares 58,649,306 57,779,338
 Memo: Taxable equivalent adjustment $6,517 $9,004
 Income Statement
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 Nine months ended
 September 30,
 -------------------------
 1992 1991
 Interest and fee income: ------------ ------------
 Loans $1,075,280 $1,344,444
 Investment securities 336,308 316,347
 Short-term investments 28,105 61,909
 ------------ ------------
 Total interest and fee income 1,439,693 1,722,700
 Interest expense:
 Deposits 510,651 810,486
 Short-term borrowings 62,827 109,827
 Long-term debt 26,712 25,175
 ------------ ------------
 Total interest expense 600,190 945,488
 ------------ ------------
 Net interest income 839,503 777,212
 Provision for loan losses 116,257 139,887
 ------------ ------------
 Net interest income
 after provision for loan losses 723,246 637,325
 Noninterest income:
 Trust income 159,428 149,316
 Deposit service charges 74,328 71,074
 Credit card fees 41,513 39,129
 Net investment securities gains 9,633 7,421
 Gain on sale of branches and loans 20,074 0
 Other income 88,781 79,323
 ------------ ------------
 Total noninterest income 393,757 346,263
 Noninterest expense:
 Salaries and benefits 363,567 357,197
 Net occupancy 65,436 67,584
 Equipment 56,993 54,171
 FDIC insurance 33,174 30,804
 Restructuring charges 50,016 0
 Other expense 235,712 242,239
 ------------ ------------
 Total noninterest expense 804,898 751,995
 ------------ ------------
 Income before income taxes 312,105 231,593
 Provision for income taxes 97,401 62,665
 ------------ ------------
 Net income $214,704 $168,928
 ------------ ------------
 Net income available to Common Shares $210,034 $164,235
 Net income per Common Share $3.58 $2.85
 Weighted average outstanding shares 58,599,995 57,528,055
 Memo: Taxable equivalent adjustment $21,279 $29,398
 Average Balance Sheet
 (Dollars in thousands)
 Three months ended
 September 30,
 -------------------------
 Assets: 1992 1991
 ------------ ------------
 Interest bearing deposits with banks $274,991 $641,336
 Other short-term investments 202,247 698,751
 Investment securities 4,753,700 4,738,092
 Loans, net of unearned income 15,644,961 17,258,653
 ------------ ------------
 Total earning assets 20,875,899 23,336,832
 Allowance for loan losses (523,178) (462,437)
 Cash and due from banks 1,306,505 1,176,332
 Premises and equipment 405,464 343,695
 Other assets 930,331 993,636
 ------------ ------------
 Total assets $22,995,021 $25,388,058
 ------------ ------------
 Liabilities and shareholders' equity:
 Noninterest bearing deposits $2,957,872 $2,894,232
 Interest bearing deposits 14,426,809 17,150,364
 ------------ ------------
 Total deposits 17,384,681 20,044,596
 Short-term borrowings 2,609,394 2,637,819
 Long-term debt 686,924 469,094
 Other liabilities 555,855 499,819
 ------------ ------------
 Total liabilities 21,236,854 23,651,328
 Preferred stock 60,000 60,000
 Common shareholders' equity 1,698,167 1,676,730
 ------------ ------------
 Total liabilities
 and shareholders' equity $22,995,021 $25,388,058
 ------------ ------------
 Average Balance Sheet
 (Dollars in thousands)
 Nine months ended
 September 30,
 -------------------------
 Assets: 1992 1991
 ------------ ------------
 Interest bearing deposits with banks $321,536 $562,191
 Other short-term investments 374,267 660,535
 Investment securities 4,596,834 4,581,750
 Loans, net of unearned income 16,255,198 17,613,592
 ------------ ------------
 Total earning assets 21,547,835 23,418,068
 Allowance for loan losses (525,326) (467,595)
 Cash and due from banks 1,222,027 1,167,001
 Premises and equipment 374,156 347,943
 Other assets 996,803 996,818
 ------------ ------------
 Total assets $23,615,495 $25,462,235
 ------------ ------------
 Liabilities and shareholders' equity:
 Noninterest bearing deposits $2,994,383 $2,884,035
 Interest bearing deposits 15,420,048 17,388,127
 ------------ ------------
 Total deposits 18,414,431 20,272,162
 Short-term borrowings 2,373,356 2,512,009
 Long-term debt 540,473 469,455
 Other liabilities 573,525 514,357
 ------------ ------------
 Total liabilities 21,901,785 23,767,983
 Preferred stock 60,000 60,000
 Common shareholders' equity 1,653,710 1,634,252
 ------------ ------------
 Total liabilities
 and shareholders' equity $23,615,495 $25,462,235
 ------------ ------------
 -0- 10/16/92
 /CONTACT: John Fuller (media), 216-689-8140; or Jay Gould


(analysts), 216-689-4721; both of Society Corporation/
 (SCY) CO: Society Corporation ST: Ohio IN: FIN SU: ERN


KK -- CL004 -- 0798 10/16/92 09:04 EDT
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Date:Oct 16, 1992
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