First BanCorp Reports Earnings Increase of 14.9%; Surpasses $6 Billion in Assets

Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from First BanCorp

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- First BanCorp
 (NYSE:   FBP), the Financial Holding Company of FirstBank Puerto Rico, reported
 today earnings of $18,785,807 or $0.59 per share (basic and diluted) for the
 quarter ended March 31, 2001, as compared to earnings of $16,351,085 or $0.53
 per share (basic and diluted) for the first quarter of 2000.  These results
 represent an increase of 14.9% in earnings and 11.3% in earnings per share.
 Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Common Equity (ROE) were 1.23% and
 21.72%, respectively for the first quarter, compared to 1.38% and 30.38%
 respectively, for the same quarter of 2000.  The ROA is slightly lower due to
 a significant increase in the assets of the Corporation.  The ROE is affected
 by fluctuations in the market value of the Corporation's investment portfolio.
 Basic and diluted weighted average common shares were 26,504,218 and
 26,646,747, respectively.
     Commenting on these first quarter 2001 results, Mr. Angel Alvarez-Perez,
 Chairman, President, and CEO of First BanCorp said, "we are very happy at the
 excellent results of the first three months of 2001.  Loan growth was healthy
 in all areas.  Our margins have improved since the previous quarter, as a
 result of lower funding costs, expenses are very well controlled, other income
 keeps growing, and asset quality and reserve ratios keep improving.  We
 foresee these very strong results will continue throughout the year."
     Net interest income, the Corporation's main source of income, increased by
 $4.2 million from $48.3 million during the first quarter of 2000 to
 $52.5 million during the first quarter of 2001.  This increase is mostly
 attributable to an increase in average earning assets of $1,203 million since
 March of 2000.
     The efficiency ratio was 43.24% and 46.35% for the three months ended
 March 31, 2001 and 2000 respectively, one of the best in the industry.  An
 increase in expenses of $2.1 million is mainly attributable to general growth
 in the subsidiary bank's operations, to technology investments, and
 to expenses attributable to an operation acquired in the US Virgin Islands
 during the third quarter of 2000.
     Total assets were $6,240 million as of March 31, 2001, as compared to
 $5,070 million as of March 31, 2000 and $5,920 million as of December 31,
 2000.  Loans receivable increased by 28.0% to $3,681 million, as compared to
 $2,876 million as of March 31, 2000 and $3,498 million as of December 31,
 2000. The largest loan volume increase was achieved in the Corporate and
 Commercial lending operations.
     Non-performing loans as of March 31, 2001 were $63.0 million or 1.71%
 total loans, as compared to $48.8 million (1.70% of total loans) and
 $67.7 million (1.94% of total loans) as of March 31, 2000 and December 31,
 2000, respectively.  Non-performing loans, when compared to the most recent
 previous quarter decreased slightly in dollar amount and moderately as a
 percent of the portfolio.  The increase in dollar amount, when compared to the
 March 2000 figure, is due to the addition of a large commercial loan during
 the third quarter of 2000, plus the non-performing loans acquired from the
 First Virgin Islands operation, during such quarter.
     The allowance for loan losses to non-performing loans (reserve coverage)
 was 123.3% as of March 31, 2001, compared to 150.7% as of March 31, 2000 and
 113.6%, as of December 31, 2000.  The improvement in the most recent quarter
 is due to a reduction of $4.7 million in the non-performing loans for the
 quarter and the increase for the quarter of $.7 million in the allowance for
 loan losses.  Non-performing assets to total assets were 1.11% as of March 31,
 2001 as compared to 1.06% as of March 31, 2000 and 1.25% as of December 31,
 2000.  Net charge offs increased to $14.3 million (1.58% of average loans) as
 compared to $10.3 million (1.49% of average loans) during the first quarter of
 2000, as a result of a single isolated $4 million charge off, of a large
 commercial loan.  Management expects to return to a normalized charge off
 amount in the second quarter of 2001.
     Other income continued increasing, as a result of the Corporation's
 revenue diversification strategy.  Other income amounted to $16.5 million for
 the first quarter of 2001 as compared to $11.4 million for the first quarter
 of 2000.  The increase is due to $1.5 million in other fees on loans, and
 $3.6 million increases in the gains on sale of investments net of a decrease
 in trading activity income.  The gains on sale are the direct result of the
 active management of the Corporation's investment portfolio, which
 consistently contributes to the Corporation's profits.
     As of January 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted SFAS No. 133, "Accounting
 for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities."  This adoption resulted in
 a recognition of a loss of $1,014,889 (net of tax), as a cumulative effect of
 an accounting change.
 
     First BanCorp is a $6.2 billion Financial Holding Company.  It is the
 parent company of FirstBank Puerto Rico, which is the second largest
 independently owned commercial bank in Puerto Rico.  The Bank, which is a
 well-capitalized institution, operates a total of 49 financial service
 facilities throughout Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  FirstBank also
 operates Money Express, a finance company, with 25 offices throughout the
 Island and First Leasing and Car Rental, a car and truck rental leasing
 company, with six offices in Puerto Rico.
 
                                 FIRST BANCORP
                               FINANCIAL SUMMARY
                (Dollars in thousands except per share results)
 
     Selected Income Statement Data:
 
                                        Three Months Ended  Three Months Ended
                                            March 31,          December 31,
                                      2001            2000           2000
 
     Interest Income                $128,750        $105,181      $125,375
     Interest Expense                 76,276          56,861        78,298
     Net Interest Income              52,474          48,320        47,078
     Provision for Loan Losses        15,000          12,020        10,975
     Gains on Sale of Investments      6,589           2,513         1,038
     Other Income                      9,895           8,935        12,465
     Operating Expenses               29,819          27,703        28,294
     Income Taxes                      4,338           3,694         3,564
     Cumulative effect of
       accounting change             (1,015)             N/A           N/A
     Net Income                      $18,786         $16,351       $17,748
     Net Income Applicable to
       Common Stock                  $15,617         $14,748       $15,150
 
     Net Income Per Share (Basic)      $0.59           $0.53         $0.57
     Net Income Per Share (Diluted)    $0.59           $0.53         $0.57
 
     Selected Performance Ratios:
      Net Interest Yield (1)           3.86%           4.42%          3.56%
      Return on Assets                 1.23%           1.38%         1.24%
      Return on Equity                16.60%          23.01%        18.80%
      Return on Common Equity         21.72%          30.38%        25.23%
      Net Write offs to Average Loans  1.58%           1.49%         1.23%
      Efficiency Ratio                43.24%          46.35%        46.70%
 
     Average Balances:
      Assets                     $ 6,084,671     $ 4,724,676    $5,720,567
      Earnings Assets              5,880,392       4,677,037     5,593,854
      Deposits                     3,205,575       2,477,291     3,044,411
      Interest-bearing liabilities 5,347,815       4,203,926     5,095,817
      Stockholders Equity            452,552         284,209       377,678
      Common Stockholders Equity     287,552         194,209       240,233
 
     Selected Statement of Condition Data:
 
 
                                  At March 31,At March 31, At December 31,
                                     20012000      2000
 
     Total Assets:
      Total Assets                $6,239,843     $ 5,069,642    $5,919,657
      Loans Receivable, Net        3,603,041       2,802,272     3,421,279
      Investments Held for Sale    2,225,620       1,692,191     1,901,663
      Investments - Held to Maturity  56,665         305,746       310,996
      Cash and Cash Equivalents       72,456          67,344        65,393
 
     Total Liabilities:
      Deposits                    $3,523,927     $ 2,753,392    $3,345,984
      Securities Sold Under
       Agreements
      to Other Borrowings          1,737,190       1,751,386     1,856,436
      Stockholders Equity            462,089         297,471       434,461
      Book value per common share     $11.17           $7.63        $10.20
 
 
                                  At March 31,    At March 31, At December 31,
                                      2001             2000          2000
     Credit quality Data:
      Non-performing Assets         $ 69,556         $53,632        $74,071
      Non-performing Loans            62,971          48,781        67,716
      Past Due Loans                  14,513          10,954        16,358
      Allowance for Loan Losses       77,639          73,504        76,919
 
      Non-performing Assets to
       Total Assets                    1.11%           1.06%         1.25%
      Non-performing Loans to
       Total Loans                     1.71%           1.70%         1.94%
      Allowance to Non-Performing
       Loans                         123.29%         150.68%       113.59%
 
     (1) On a taxable equivalent basis.
 
 

SOURCE First BanCorp
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- First BanCorp
 (NYSE:   FBP), the Financial Holding Company of FirstBank Puerto Rico, reported
 today earnings of $18,785,807 or $0.59 per share (basic and diluted) for the
 quarter ended March 31, 2001, as compared to earnings of $16,351,085 or $0.53
 per share (basic and diluted) for the first quarter of 2000.  These results
 represent an increase of 14.9% in earnings and 11.3% in earnings per share.
 Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Common Equity (ROE) were 1.23% and
 21.72%, respectively for the first quarter, compared to 1.38% and 30.38%
 respectively, for the same quarter of 2000.  The ROA is slightly lower due to
 a significant increase in the assets of the Corporation.  The ROE is affected
 by fluctuations in the market value of the Corporation's investment portfolio.
 Basic and diluted weighted average common shares were 26,504,218 and
 26,646,747, respectively.
     Commenting on these first quarter 2001 results, Mr. Angel Alvarez-Perez,
 Chairman, President, and CEO of First BanCorp said, "we are very happy at the
 excellent results of the first three months of 2001.  Loan growth was healthy
 in all areas.  Our margins have improved since the previous quarter, as a
 result of lower funding costs, expenses are very well controlled, other income
 keeps growing, and asset quality and reserve ratios keep improving.  We
 foresee these very strong results will continue throughout the year."
     Net interest income, the Corporation's main source of income, increased by
 $4.2 million from $48.3 million during the first quarter of 2000 to
 $52.5 million during the first quarter of 2001.  This increase is mostly
 attributable to an increase in average earning assets of $1,203 million since
 March of 2000.
     The efficiency ratio was 43.24% and 46.35% for the three months ended
 March 31, 2001 and 2000 respectively, one of the best in the industry.  An
 increase in expenses of $2.1 million is mainly attributable to general growth
 in the subsidiary bank's operations, to technology investments, and
 to expenses attributable to an operation acquired in the US Virgin Islands
 during the third quarter of 2000.
     Total assets were $6,240 million as of March 31, 2001, as compared to
 $5,070 million as of March 31, 2000 and $5,920 million as of December 31,
 2000.  Loans receivable increased by 28.0% to $3,681 million, as compared to
 $2,876 million as of March 31, 2000 and $3,498 million as of December 31,
 2000. The largest loan volume increase was achieved in the Corporate and
 Commercial lending operations.
     Non-performing loans as of March 31, 2001 were $63.0 million or 1.71%
 total loans, as compared to $48.8 million (1.70% of total loans) and
 $67.7 million (1.94% of total loans) as of March 31, 2000 and December 31,
 2000, respectively.  Non-performing loans, when compared to the most recent
 previous quarter decreased slightly in dollar amount and moderately as a
 percent of the portfolio.  The increase in dollar amount, when compared to the
 March 2000 figure, is due to the addition of a large commercial loan during
 the third quarter of 2000, plus the non-performing loans acquired from the
 First Virgin Islands operation, during such quarter.
     The allowance for loan losses to non-performing loans (reserve coverage)
 was 123.3% as of March 31, 2001, compared to 150.7% as of March 31, 2000 and
 113.6%, as of December 31, 2000.  The improvement in the most recent quarter
 is due to a reduction of $4.7 million in the non-performing loans for the
 quarter and the increase for the quarter of $.7 million in the allowance for
 loan losses.  Non-performing assets to total assets were 1.11% as of March 31,
 2001 as compared to 1.06% as of March 31, 2000 and 1.25% as of December 31,
 2000.  Net charge offs increased to $14.3 million (1.58% of average loans) as
 compared to $10.3 million (1.49% of average loans) during the first quarter of
 2000, as a result of a single isolated $4 million charge off, of a large
 commercial loan.  Management expects to return to a normalized charge off
 amount in the second quarter of 2001.
     Other income continued increasing, as a result of the Corporation's
 revenue diversification strategy.  Other income amounted to $16.5 million for
 the first quarter of 2001 as compared to $11.4 million for the first quarter
 of 2000.  The increase is due to $1.5 million in other fees on loans, and
 $3.6 million increases in the gains on sale of investments net of a decrease
 in trading activity income.  The gains on sale are the direct result of the
 active management of the Corporation's investment portfolio, which
 consistently contributes to the Corporation's profits.
     As of January 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted SFAS No. 133, "Accounting
 for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities."  This adoption resulted in
 a recognition of a loss of $1,014,889 (net of tax), as a cumulative effect of
 an accounting change.
 
     First BanCorp is a $6.2 billion Financial Holding Company.  It is the
 parent company of FirstBank Puerto Rico, which is the second largest
 independently owned commercial bank in Puerto Rico.  The Bank, which is a
 well-capitalized institution, operates a total of 49 financial service
 facilities throughout Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  FirstBank also
 operates Money Express, a finance company, with 25 offices throughout the
 Island and First Leasing and Car Rental, a car and truck rental leasing
 company, with six offices in Puerto Rico.
 
                                 FIRST BANCORP
                               FINANCIAL SUMMARY
                (Dollars in thousands except per share results)
 
     Selected Income Statement Data:
 
                                        Three Months Ended  Three Months Ended
                                            March 31,          December 31,
                                      2001            2000           2000
 
     Interest Income                $128,750        $105,181      $125,375
     Interest Expense                 76,276          56,861        78,298
     Net Interest Income              52,474          48,320        47,078
     Provision for Loan Losses        15,000          12,020        10,975
     Gains on Sale of Investments      6,589           2,513         1,038
     Other Income                      9,895           8,935        12,465
     Operating Expenses               29,819          27,703        28,294
     Income Taxes                      4,338           3,694         3,564
     Cumulative effect of
       accounting change             (1,015)             N/A           N/A
     Net Income                      $18,786         $16,351       $17,748
     Net Income Applicable to
       Common Stock                  $15,617         $14,748       $15,150
 
     Net Income Per Share (Basic)      $0.59           $0.53         $0.57
     Net Income Per Share (Diluted)    $0.59           $0.53         $0.57
 
     Selected Performance Ratios:
      Net Interest Yield (1)           3.86%           4.42%          3.56%
      Return on Assets                 1.23%           1.38%         1.24%
      Return on Equity                16.60%          23.01%        18.80%
      Return on Common Equity         21.72%          30.38%        25.23%
      Net Write offs to Average Loans  1.58%           1.49%         1.23%
      Efficiency Ratio                43.24%          46.35%        46.70%
 
     Average Balances:
      Assets                     $ 6,084,671     $ 4,724,676    $5,720,567
      Earnings Assets              5,880,392       4,677,037     5,593,854
      Deposits                     3,205,575       2,477,291     3,044,411
      Interest-bearing liabilities 5,347,815       4,203,926     5,095,817
      Stockholders Equity            452,552         284,209       377,678
      Common Stockholders Equity     287,552         194,209       240,233
 
     Selected Statement of Condition Data:
 
 
                                  At March 31,At March 31, At December 31,
                                     20012000      2000
 
     Total Assets:
      Total Assets                $6,239,843     $ 5,069,642    $5,919,657
      Loans Receivable, Net        3,603,041       2,802,272     3,421,279
      Investments Held for Sale    2,225,620       1,692,191     1,901,663
      Investments - Held to Maturity  56,665         305,746       310,996
      Cash and Cash Equivalents       72,456          67,344        65,393
 
     Total Liabilities:
      Deposits                    $3,523,927     $ 2,753,392    $3,345,984
      Securities Sold Under
       Agreements
      to Other Borrowings          1,737,190       1,751,386     1,856,436
      Stockholders Equity            462,089         297,471       434,461
      Book value per common share     $11.17           $7.63        $10.20
 
 
                                  At March 31,    At March 31, At December 31,
                                      2001             2000          2000
     Credit quality Data:
      Non-performing Assets         $ 69,556         $53,632        $74,071
      Non-performing Loans            62,971          48,781        67,716
      Past Due Loans                  14,513          10,954        16,358
      Allowance for Loan Losses       77,639          73,504        76,919
 
      Non-performing Assets to
       Total Assets                    1.11%           1.06%         1.25%
      Non-performing Loans to
       Total Loans                     1.71%           1.70%         1.94%
      Allowance to Non-Performing
       Loans                         123.29%         150.68%       113.59%
 
     (1) On a taxable equivalent basis.
 
 SOURCE  First BanCorp