NationsBank's quarterly income jumps to $709 million Non-interest income reaches $1.1 billion

April 15, 1997|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

NationsBank Corp.'s net income jumped 20 percent in the first quarter of 1997 as income from loans and other products grew at a double-digit pace, the company said yesterday.

The nation's fourth largest banking company reported net income of $709 million, or 97 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $590 million, or 98 cents a share, a year earlier, before a one-time merger-related charge in 1996.

"Our company is generating substantial cash flows, which enhance our ability to invest in technology, our business and future opportunities," said Hugh L. McColl Jr., chief executive of NationsBank, which has $239 billion in assets and is based in Charlotte, N.C.

Including a one-time merger-related charge of $77 million in 1996, NationsBank earned $513 million, or 85 cents a share, in the first quarter a year earlier, the company said.

NationsBank's stock closed at $55.625, up 12.5 cents a share.

It acquired St. Louis-based Boatmen's Bancshares Inc. Jan. 7, extending its franchise into the American heartland. When the acquisition was announced in August, Boatmen's had $41 billion in assets with offices in nine states.

NationsBank has offices in 16 states and the District of Columbia. It moved into Baltimore in 1993 with the acquisition of MNC Financial Inc. The company has 4,100 employees in the Baltimore region, 487 ATMs and 213 branches.

NationsBank's strong showing was aided by a 19 percent increase in average loans and leases. Net interest income, largely made up of income from loans, increased 25 percent to $1.98 billion in the first quarter.

Non-interest income, or income from products and services that include everything from fees for depository accounts to brokerage services, rose 26 percent to $1.11 billion.

"I thought it was a surprisingly good quarter," said Carla A. D'Arista, a banking analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., an Arlington, Va.-based brokerage and investment banking firm.

She was impressed by NationsBank's ability to keep earnings up and quickly complete its acquisition of Boatmen's under budget. She also said NationsBank's credit quality remains strong.

D'Arista expects NationsBank to earn $4.25 a share for the year.

"I don't think they are going to have any trouble making that," D'Arista said.

Pub Date: 4/15/97

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