Mercantile profits up 9%

April 14, 1993|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

Mercantile Bankshares Corp. said yesterday that its first-quarter earnings rose 9 percent compared with the same period a year ago, despite a rise in both operating expenses and the level of nonperforming assets.

The company, the parent of Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co., earned $20.5 million, or 67 cents a share, for the quarter that ended March 31, compared with $18.9 million, or 62 cents a share, a year ago. Interest income rose to $58.3 million from $53.2 million.

Mercantile saw a $1.25 million year-to-year increase in nonperforming assets, which hit $95.4 million at the end of the quarter, mostly from nonperforming loans, rather than foreclosed real estate, although both categories had risen.

The company increased by 67 percent the amount it set aside to reserve for future loan losses. Still, return on assets, an important measure of profitability, rose to 1.55 percent in the quarter, from 1.47 percent a year ago.

Although Mercantile has potential "to earn a lot more money in a higher rate environment," said analyst Denis Laplante of Fox-Pitt Kelton, "it was a very solid, respectable quarter for the company."

Mercantile

Bankshares Corp.

O? .. .. .. .. .. .. Ticker.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Yesterday's .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Symbol .. .. .. .. .... .. .. Cls.. .. ... ...Chg.

.. .. .. .. .. .. MRBK .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 34 5/8 .. .. .. .. ..+ 5/8

Period ended

Mar. 31 .. .. .. .. 1st qtr.. .. .. .. .. .. ..Year ago.. .. .. .. Chg.

Net Income .. .. .. $20,492 .. .. .. .. .. .. $18,871 .. .. .. .. +8.6%

Primary EPS .. .. ...$0.67 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..$0.62 .. .. .. .. +8.1%

Annualized return

on avg. assets .. .. 1.55% .. .. .. .. .. .. ..1.47%

Add. to allowance

for loan losses .. ..$3,253.. .. .. .. .. .. ..$1,943 .. .. .. ..+67.4%

.. .. ... .. .. .. .. Balances as of

.. .. .. .. .. . . 3/31/93 .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. 3/31/92

Assets .. .. .. .. $5,320,860.. .. .. ... .. .. .. $5,241,622.. .. +1.5%

Deposits .. .. .. $4,383,559.. .. .. .. .. .. .. . $4,290,806.. .. . +2.2% Loans outst.. .. ..$3,516,646 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .$3,394,723.. .. ..+3.6% Loan loss

reserve .. .. .. ..$90,061 .. .. .. .. .. ... ... ..$66,344 .. .. .. +35.7% Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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