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WEBSTER FINANCIAL REPORTS EARNINGS INCREASE; DECLARES DIVIDEND

 WEBSTER FINANCIAL REPORTS EARNINGS INCREASE; DECLARES DIVIDEND
 WATERBURY, Conn., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Webster Financial Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: WBST), holding company for Waterbury-based First Federal Bank, earned $1,063,000, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, compared to $784,000 or 25 cents per share, for the same period last year. The board of directors voted a regular quarterly cash dividend of 13 cents per share, payable May 15, 1992, to shareholders of record on May 6, 1992.
 For the quarter, net interest income increased $1.7 million to $7.0 million from $5.3 million a year earlier, as the cost of funds continued to decrease relative to the yield on earning assets. The amount of earning assets increased as a result of the September 1991 acquisition of the five north central Connecticut banking offices of the former Suffield Bank in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation assisted transaction. Noninterest income increased $729,000 to $1,486,000 from $757,000 due to increased gains on sales of loans and investments and due to increased income from fees and service charges. Noninterest expenses before provisions increased $1.4 million to $5.1 million from $3.7 million due primarily to the costs associated with the five new offices and federal deposit insurance premiums connected with increased deposits.
 Nonperforming assets decreased $1.2 million or 5.9 percent during the quarter to $19.3 million after chargeoffs of $961,000. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets at March 31, 1992, was 2.18 percent, well below the average for Connecticut financial institutions. Provisions for losses on loans and other real estate owned totaled $1.1 million for the quarter compared to $685,000 a year earlier. The allowance for loan losses at March 31, 1992 amounted to $8.9 million and represented 117 percent of nonperforming loans. The allowances for losses on loans and other real estate owned totaled $9.8 million and represented 51 percent of nonperforming assets.
 James C. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said, "We are pleased to report increased earnings, a reduction in nonperforming assets, higher reserve coverage and a strong capital position. We will continue to emphasize asset quality, recurring earnings and control of expenses in our efforts to enhance shareholder value."
 Shareholders' equity at March 31, 1992, of $65 million resulted in a book value of $20.46 per share based on 3,179,359 shares of common stock outstanding. Assets at March 31, 1992 totaled $886 million compared to $714 million a year earlier. The ratio of shareholders' equity to total assets was 7.35 percent at March 31, 1992. Loan originations, primarily residential first mortgage loans, totaled $44 million for the quarter compared to $14 million a year ago. Loans amounted to $516 million compared to $490 million, and deposits were $728 million compared to $553 million at March 31, 1991.
 Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for First Federal Bank, a federal savings bank headquartered in Waterbury. First Federal was founded in 1935 and converted from a federal mutual to a federal stock institution in 1986.
 Through First Federal, the corporation is engaged primarily in the business of attracting deposits from the general public and investing these funds in loans for the purchase, construction or refinancing of one to four-family homes.
 The corporation serves communities in New Haven, Hartford and Litchfield counties from its main office in downtown Waterbury and 15 branch offices in western and north central Connecticut.
 WEBSTER FINANCIAL CORPORATION
 Condensed Financial Information
 ($ in thousands, except share data)
 STATEMENTS OF INCOME Three Months Ended
 March 31
 1992 1991
 Net interest income $6,956 $5,259
 Provision for loan losses 100 600
 Gain on sale of loans and
 mortgage-backed securities, net 351 5
 Gain on sale of investment
 securities, net 63 36
 Other non-interest income 1,072 716
 Income before expenses 8,342 5,416
 Non-interest expenses before
 OREO provision 5,068 3,667
 OREO provision for losses 960 85
 Total non-interest expenses 6,028 3,752
 Income before taxes 2,314 1,664
 Income taxes 1,251 880
 Net income $1,063 784
 Net income per share 33 cents 25 cents
 Cash dividends per share 13 cents 13 cents
 Weighted average common shares
 and equivalents (000s) 3,245 3,183
 Common shares outstanding (000s) 3,179 3,526
 BALANCE SHEET INFORMATION March 31
 1992 1991
 Assets $885,545 $714,114
 Loans receivable, net 515,733 489,834
 Mortgage-backed securities 261,995 110,082
 Deposits 728,354 552,754
 Federal Home Loan Bank
 advances and other borrowings 71,175 80,322
 Total shareholders' equity 65,065 62,650
 Book value per share 20.46 19.73
 Market price per share 12.75 8.00
 SELECTED FINANCIAL RATIOS Three months ended
 AND OTHER INFORMATION March 31 Dec. 31 March 31
 1992 1991 1991
 Loan originations $44,409 $28,234 $14,064
 Allowance for possible loan
 losses 8,857 8,856 7,307
 Allowance for possible losses
 on other real estate owned 902 804 401
 Allowance for loan losses/
 non-performing loans 116.55 pct 114.34 pct 165.02 pct
 Allowances for loan and OREO
 losses/nonperforming assets 50.52 pct 47.05 pct 43.64 pct
 Nonperforming assets to total
 assets 2.18 2.31 2.47
 Return on average equity 6.58 5.94 5.02
 Interest rate spread 3.05 2.72 2.64
 Net yield on average earning
 assets 3.34 3.02 3.19
 Noninterest expense to average
 assets 2.74 3.03 2.14
 Noninterest expense less OREO
 provisions and expenses to
 average assets 2.13 1.89 1.97
 Equity to total assets 7.35 7.21 8.77
 Net interest income to
 noninterest expense 1.15x .94x 1.40x
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: James C. Smith of Wester Financial, 203-755-1422/
 (WBST) CO: Webster Financial Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: FIN SU: ERN


SH-TM -- NE008 -- 3307 04/27/92 15:36 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1992
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