Three large banks report strong quarterly earnings

October 22, 1992|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

The region's banking industry is slowly and steadily recuperating from its real estate-induced illness of the past two years, according to the latest slew of quarterly earnings.

Yesterday, three more Baltimore banking companies bolstered the impression of an industry taking two steps forward and one step back.

Baltimore Bancorp turned in its third consecutive profitable quarter this year, and its good news was echoed by strong earnings from First Maryland Bancorp. But of the three, only Provident Bankshares Corp. was able to exceed not only its performance from a year ago, but from the previous quarter as well.

So far, third-quarter results -- including those from MNC Financial Inc., Mercantile Bankshares Corp. and Richmond-based Signet Banking Co. -- have shown that quarterly losses appear to be a bad memory for most. Still, an occasional relapse continues to surface in the form of new non-performing loans among the area's largest banks.

Baltimore Bancorp

The parent of the Bank of Baltimore, which is operating under a restrictive agreement with federal regulators, earned $3.3 million, or 26 cents a share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30. That came in contrast to a loss of nearly $40 million, or $3.14 a share, a year ago.

But both net income and what the company considers core earnings fell since the second quarter, when Baltimore Bancorp earned $5.8 million, or 45 cents a share.

At the same time, the level of non-performing assets, at $230.5 million, was slightly higher in the third quarter than both a year earlier and three months ago. Baltimore Bancorp had $2.7 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.

First Maryland Bancorp

First Maryland, a subsidiary of Dublin, Ireland-based Allied Irish Banks plc, reported that income rose nearly 16 percent in the quarter, to $24.1 million from $20.8 million a year ago. Allied Irish does not report per-share numbers for its subsidiaries.

But this year's earnings have benefited from First Maryland's acquisition late last year of $1.3 billion in assets of York Bank & Trust Co., which added nearly $1 million to the company's profits in the latest quarter. As a percent of both assets and equity, First Maryland's profitability was down slightly in the third quarter compared with last year.

And like Baltimore Bancorp, First Maryland wasn't able to exceed its second-quarter performance. Earnings fell nearly 1 percent since the company earned $24.3 million in the three months that ended June 30.

Credit quality also was a problem for First Maryland, the parent of the First National Bank of Maryland. Non-performing assets grew 3 percent since June, and almost 42 percent since last year, to $213.6 million on Sept. 30, out of a total $8.9 billion in assets.

Provident Bankshares Corp.

Provident, like the others, continued to benefit from falling interest rates. The result was a higher net interest margin, and a quarterly profit of $1.1 million, or 18 cents a share. The represented an 86 percent jump from earnings of $602,000, or 10 cents a share, a year ago.

Unlike the others, however, Provident, the parent of the Provident Bank of Maryland, outpaced its second-quarter performance with a 24 percent improvement.

Also, Provident's asset quality continued to improve.

Baltimore Bancorp

hree months ended 9/30/92

. ..... .........Income.. ................ Share

92...............3,301,000................0.26

91..............(39,996,000)............(3.14)

% change. .............. --..................--

ine months ended 9/30/92

. ................Income.................. Share

92...............14,198,000................1.11

91.............(32,113,000)............(2.50)

% change................ --..................--

First Maryland Bancorp

hree months ended 9/30/92

. . ..............Income.................. Share

92................24,061,000.............. A*

91................20,763,000. ............ A*

% change.............. +15.9................A

Nine months ended 9/30/92

. . ............Income................... Share

92.............68,389,000............... A*

91.............51,163,000............... A*

% change............ +33.7............... A

Allied Irish Banks, the parent of First Maryland Bancorp, does not report per-share numbers for its subsidiaries.

Provident Bankshares Corp.

Three months ended 9/30/92

.................Income........................ Share

92...............1,120,000.....................0.18

91.............. .602,000......................0.10

% change............ +86.0.....................+80.0

Nine months ended 9/30/92

......................Income................... Share

92...................2,600,000................0.42

91....................2,300,000.................0.38

% change................. +13.0................+10.5

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