Earnings improve slightly at American National

September 07, 1995|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Sun Staff Writer

American National Savings Bank FSB said its earnings improved slightly during the three months that ended in July, the fourth quarter of the Baltimore thrift's fiscal year, closing the book on a year in which profits were down 99 percent because of problem real estate loans and higher interest rates.

The company said it earned $177,000, or nine cents a share, during the fourth quarter. The profit is a 9.3 percent gain from $162,000, or eight cents a share, during the same period a year ago.

It was the rest of the year that was the problem for American National. Chief Financial Officer James Uveges said the company had to add $1.4 million more to loan loss reserves because of foreclosures against a single borrower with interests in office buildings, industrial property and real estate that contains retail stores. He would not name the borrower.

The other big change was a $1.2 million decline in non-interest income. Mr. Uveges said the bank was able to make a big gain selling bonds in late 1993 that had risen in value because of falling interest rates, but was not able to duplicate the gain amid the rising rates between August 1994 and July 1995.

"You had an opportunity with declining interest rates to sell them off [in 1993] and move the money into loans," Mr. Uveges said.

The bigger loan portfolio paid off in a $662,000 increase in interest income, not enough to offset the two setbacks.

American National has nine branches in metropolitan Baltimore and $426 million in assets.

Mr. Uveges said the weak earnings will not affect the bank's plans to sell the 55 percent of the bank now owned by depositors to public shareholders. He said that transaction could close as soon as October.

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