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STRONG THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS, NATIONAL RANKING FOR OMEGA

 STRONG THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS, NATIONAL RANKING FOR OMEGA
 STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Along with strong third quarter earnings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David B. Lee announced today Omega Financial Corporation's (NASDAQ: OMEF) fifth place national ranking among banking companies of its size.
 Omega, a bank holding company which operates The Russell National Bank headquartered in Lewistown, Pa., and Peoples National Bank of Central Pennsylvania headquartered in State College, was one of only three Pennsylvania banks that made the top 10 in a study published in the October issue of United States Banker, a financial services periodical.
 "We are really proud of this achievement," Lee said. "Especially considering that there are 100 in the group Omega was compared to."
 Lee said Omega's earnings were $5.2 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to $4.8 million last year, a 9.5 percent increase.
 During the third quarter, Omega added $1.8 million to its 1992 earnings compared to $1.6 million earned in the third quarter of 1991. The corporation's year to date return on average assets and return on shareholders' equity were 1.38 percent and 13.60 percent, respectively, compared to 1.28 percent and 13.46 percent in 1991.
 Fully diluted earnings per share during the third quarter grew to $.52 from $.46 last year. This increase brought year to date fully diluted per share earnings to $1.49, compared to last year's $1.34.
 In discussing Omega's success, Lee cited a strong local economy and a focus on loan quality. "We've been very strict in assessing whether a loan meets our standards. Instead of trying to stretch to make a loan, we make absolutely certain it is within our guidelines," he said.
 Lee said that Omega has also prospered by keying on its net interest margin. It was 5.36 percent on a tax equivalent basis through the first three quarters, as compared to 4.87 percent last year.
 Omega uses rate swap arrangements with other banks to avoid wide swings in its interest margins. "We are not in the business of predicting interest rate directions, so we insulate ourselves in falling or rising rate environments," Lee said.
 As a result of its performance, Omega added 10.2 percent to its book value. Per share book value at Sept. 30, 1992, was $16.71, up from $15.17 last year.
 Omega closed the quarter with $503.5 million of total assets compared to $502.7 million in 1991. Shareholders' equity at the end of the quarter was $53.3 million vs. $48.6 million on Sept. 30, 1992, and were held by 1,913 shareholders.
 Omega, through its affiliates, operates 22 Pennsylvania banking offices in Centre, Clinton, Juniata and Mifflin counties.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/26/92
 /CONTACT: Robert A. Frederick, director of public relations of Omega Financial, 814-231-5773/
 (OMEF) CO: Omega Financial Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ERN


CD-EA -- PG005 -- 4657 10/26/92 10:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1992
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