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STERLING BANCSHARES REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR-END EARNINGS

 STERLING BANCSHARES REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR-END EARNINGS
 WALTHAM, Mass. Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: STLG), the holding company of Sterling Bank, today reported its earnings for 1991. For the three months ended Dec. 31, 1991, the corporation reported income before extraordinary items of $1,012,000 or 35 cents per share. Net income for the comparable period last year was $397,000 or 14 cents per share. Income before extraordinary items for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, was $640,000 or 22 cents per share, as compared withnet income of $1,719,000 or 59 cents per share for the same period in 1990.
 AtDec. 31, 1991, nonperforming assets totaled $12,059,000, consisting of $8,525,000 in nonperforming loans and $3,534,000 in other real estate owned, net. This compares with $19,560,000 in nonperforming assets at Dec. 31, 1990, a decrease of 38 percent.
 For the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, the loan loss provision was $4,059,000 and net charge-offs were $3,639,000. For the fourth quarter, a $1,062,000 loan loss provision and net charge-offs of $2,150,000 resulted in an allowance for loan losses of $3,544,000 at Dec. 31, 1991.
 Effective Dec. 31, 1991, the life insurance department of Sterling Bankand other life insurance departments of The Massachusetts Savings Bank Life Insurance System (SBLI), were converted into a single combined stock life insurance company, The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts. In connection with this conversion, Sterling Bank will receive shares of The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts. The value of the shares to be received by Sterling will result in an extraordinary gain for the corporation. The exact amount of the gain will not be known until the end of February at which point the corporation will announce the amount of the gain received.
 Total assets on Dec. 31, 1991 were $897,421,000, comprised primarily of $295,246,000 in net loans and $569,129,000 in investments. Total deposits were $676,773,000 at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $344,009,000 for the same period last year.
 On Jan. 15, 1992, the board of directors declared a cash dividend of12 cents per share, payable on Feb. 14, 1992 to shareholders of record on Jan.22, 1992. On Nov. 21, 1991, the corporation announced the Sterling Bancshares Corporation Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan, which is effective for this dividend.
 At Dec. 31, 1991 the corporation had 2,925,126 shares of common stock outstanding and a net book value of $17.39 per share.
 Sterling Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sterling Bancshares Corporation, offers a comprehensive line of business and personal banking services at its 13 offices located in nine communities in Middlesex County.
 STERLING BANCSHARES CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 ($ in Thousands, except for per share amounts)
 (Unaudited)
 Years ended Three Months Ended
 Dec. 31 Dec. 31
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Interest & Dividend Income:
 Interest and fees on
 mortgage loans $24,704 $23,547 $6,590 $5,717
 Interest and fees
 on other loans 2,119 1,998 593 501
 Interest & dividends on
 investment securities 4,629 4,563 1,213 1,090
 Interest on short-term
 investments 2,389 577 57 61
 Interest on asset-backed
 securities 30,668 20,635 9,977 5,598
 Total interest and
 dividend income 64,509 51,320 18,430 12,967
 Interest Expense:
 Interest on deposits 34,747 26,107 9,722 6,562
 Interest on borrowings 10,272 13,400 2,482 3,372
 Total interest expense 45,019 39,507 12,204 9,934
 Net interest income 19,490 11,813 6,226 3,033
 Provision for
 loan losses 4,059 3,470 1,062 1,757
 Net interest income,
 after provision for
 loan losses 15,431 8,343 5,164 1,276
 Other Income:
 Gain (loss) on sales of
 securities, net 543 260 (30) --
 Gain (loss) on sales
 of loans, net 15 (6) -- 13
 Miscellaneous 1,169 897 394 330
 Total other income 1,727 1,151 364 343
 Operating Expenses:
 Salaries and employee
 benefits 6,530 4,270 1,958 895
 Occupancy and
 equipment expenses 2,292 1,180 784 403
 Other real estate owned
 expenses, net 854 417 115 310
 Other general and
 administrative
 expenses 7,192 3,800 1,596 1,021
 Total operating
 expenses 16,868 9,667 4,453 2,629
 Income (loss) before
 income taxes and
 extraordinary items 290 (173) 1,075 (1,010)
 Provision (benefit)
 for income taxes (350) (1,892) 63 (1,407)
 Income before
 extraordinary item $ 640 $1,719(a) $1,012 $ 397(a)
 Earnings per share
 before extraordinary
 items 22 cents 59 cents(a) 35 cents 14 cents(a)
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 2,924,397 2,921,431 2,924,947 2,917,900
 ---
 NOTES:
 The extraordinary gain relating to The Savings Bank Life Insurance conversion will be released when available.
 (a)-There were no extraordinary items for the year and three months ended Dec. 31, 1990.
 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 (Dollars In thousands, except for per share amounts)
 (Unaudited)
 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Assets:
 Cash and due from banks $ 9,386 $ 833
 Short-term investments 2,860 6,670
 Cash and cash equivalents 12,246 7,503
 Investment securities 79,188 51,616
 Asset-backed securities 487,081 233,079
 Loans, net of unearned
 discount 298,790 244,388
 Allowance for possible
 loan losses (3,544) (3,124)
 Loans, net 295,246 241,264
 Banking premises &
 equipment, net 6,742 6,115
 Other real estate
 owned, net 3,534 7,494
 Accrued interest
 receivable 6,930 4,868
 Other assets 6,454 6,018
 Total Assets $897,421 $557,957
 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
 Deposits $676,773 $344,009
 Federal Home Loan Bank
 borrowings 70,000 50,000
 Securities sold under
 agreements to repurchase 84,970 107,895
 Liability in connection
 with ESOP 425 566
 Other Liabilities 14,380 5,476
 Total Liabilities 846,548 507,946
 Stockholders' Equity:
 Serial pref. stock, $.10 par
 value, 5 million shares
 authorized, none issued -- --
 Common stock, $.10 par value,
 15 million shares authorized,
 3,686,900 shares issued at
 Dec. 31, 1991 and 3,685,900 at
 Dec. 31, 1990 369 369
 Additional paid-in capital 43,138 43,162
 Retained earnings 14,917 15,681
 ------ ------
 58,424 59,212
 Treasury stock at cost -
 761,774 shares at 12/31/91,
 768,000 shares at 12/31/90 (7,126) (7,184)
 Unearned compensation-ESOP (425) (566)
 Net unrealized loss on
 marketable equity
 securities --- (1,451)
 Total Stockholders'
 Equity 50,873 50,011
 Total Liabilities &
 Stockholders' Equity $897,421 $557,957
 Capital Ratio 5.67 pct. 8.96 pct.
 Book Value Per Share $17.39 $17.14
 Shares outstanding 2,925,126 2,917,900
 -0- 1/24/92
 /CONTACT: John C. Warren, president and chief executive officer, of Sterling Bancshares, 617-894-7790/
 (STLG) CO: Sterling Bancshares Corporation ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU: ERN


SH -- NE001 -- 3144 01/24/92 09:12 EST
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