Mercantile, First Md. in black

January 15, 1991|By Ross Hetrickand Michelle Singletary | Ross Hetrickand Michelle Singletary,Evening Sun Staff

Two major Baltimore-based bank holding companies have reported profitable fourth quarters despite problems facing much of the banking industry.

Net income at Mercantile Bankshares Corp. rose by 3 percent. while First Maryland Bancorp's net income dropped by 93.4 percent.

At Mercantile, net income for the year was $68.9 million, or $2.32 per share, compared to $66.4 million, or $2.26 per share, for 1989. For the fourth quarter, net income rose by 3 percent to $16.9 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $16.4 million, or 56 cents per share, for the 1989 fourth quarter.

Figures were adjusted for a two-for-one stock split in 1989.

Mercantile's non-performing loans increased from about $19.7 million, or 0.63 percent of total loans, at the end of 1989 to about $34.5 million, or 1.04 percent of loans at the end of last year.

Mercantile, the parent company of Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co., is the third largest bank-holding company in the state. Bank analysts rank the company as one of the soundest because of its conservative management and consistent profitability.

Mercantile has also seen its deposits grow. They totaled $4 billion, 9 percent higher at the end of the year than on Dec. 31, 1989, when deposits were $3.7 billion.

Net income for First Maryland Bancorp, the second largest bank holding company in the state, dropped 93.4 percent in the fourth quarter, hitting $1.5 million compared to $22.7 million for the 1989 fourth quarter.

For the entire year the company's earnings dropped 40.7 percent, falling to $43.5 million from $73.3 million in 1989.

First Maryland, the parent company of First National Bank of Maryland, is owned by Allied Irish Banks PLC of Dublin, Ireland.

First Maryland's reserves for possible loan losses stood at $155 million, representing a 234 percent coverage of non-performing loans.

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