Signet, Provident post profits

October 18, 1991|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Evening Sun Staff

The effects of the poor commercial real estate market on banking appears to be easing as Signet Banking Corp. and Provident Bankshares Corp. reported profits in the third quarter.

Richmond-based Signet bank, which has an extensive operation in Maryland, had a third quarter net income of $11.2 million, or 41 cents a share, a 148 percent increase over the 1990 third quarter when the bank earned $4.5 million, or 17 cents a share.

For the first nine months, Signet had a net income of $25.9 million, or 96 cents a share, compared with $34.6 million, or $1.30 a share, for the same period a year ago.

"Signet continues to experience low levels of earnings due to the overbuilding in office space and retail shopping facilities, as well as the national recession," Robert M. Freeman, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. "Our near-term performance will be greatly influenced by the strength of the economy and conditions in the commercial real estate market," he said.

Provident Bankshares, the parent of Provident Bank of Maryland, had a net income of $602,000, or 10 cents a share, a drop of 39.8 percent from 1990 third quarter earnings of $1 million, or 17 cents a share.

The third quarter results were the fifth consecutive profitable quarter for the Baltimore bank holding company. The bank also declared a dividend of 5 cents a share, payable on Nov. 8 to stockholders of record at the close of business Oct. 28.

As did the other banks, Provident saw its earnings hurt by the continuing weak commercial real estate market.

MNC Financial Inc., the state's largest bank holding company, also announced a third quarter loss of $59 million.

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