Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. Reports Second Quarter Earnings And Announces Cash Dividend

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp.

    HAZLETON, Pa., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- E. Lee Beard, President and Chief
 Executive Officer of Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. (the "Company")
 (Amex:   NEP), the holding company for First Federal Bank (the "Bank"), reported
 net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 of $1.0 million, or $.21
 diluted earnings per share, compared to net income of $1.1 million, or $.22
 diluted earnings per share for the same period last year.  For the six months
 ended March 31, 2001, the Company had net income of $2.3 million, or $.47
 diluted earnings per share compared to $2.2 million net income, or $.43
 diluted earnings per share for the six months ended March 31, 2000.
     Cash earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 were $1.3 million, or
 $.25 per diluted share, compared to $1.2 million, or $.23 diluted earnings per
 share for the same period last year.  Cash earnings for the six months ended
 March 31, 2001 and March 31, 2000 were $2.7 million, or $.55 diluted earnings
 per share, and $2.4 million, or $.46 diluted earnings per share, respectively.
 Cash earnings are operating earnings excluding amortization of intangible
 assets.
     The Board of Directors of Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. today
 announced a cash dividend for the three months ended March 31, 2001, of $.09
 per share, payable to shareholders of record as of the close of business on
 May 11, 2001.  Payment of the cash dividend will be made on or about May 29,
 2001.
     Net interest income for the current quarter rose $798,000, or 17.0%, over
 the prior year quarter and rose $1.3 million, or 13.7%, for the six months
 ended March 31, 2001 over the same prior year period.  These increases were
 primarily attributable to higher outstanding loan balances and investments,
 offset in part by higher interest expense on certificates of deposit, which
 were attributable primarily to the acquisition of Security of Pennsylvania
 Financial Corp. ("Security").
     The provision for loan losses increased $26,000, or 10.9%, for the current
 quarter over the prior year quarter and decreased $180,000, or 40.6%, for the
 six months ended March 31, 2001 over the same prior year period.  At March 31,
 2001 and 2000, the allowances for loan losses were $5.1 million and
 $3.3 million, respectively.  The allowance was 93.7% of non-performing loans
 and 1.04% of total loans at March 31, 2001 compared to 155.7% of
 non-performing loans and .79% of total loans at March 31, 2000.  The increase
 in the allowance was in part as a result of the $817,000 of allowance obtained
 in the Security acquisition.  Non-performing assets increased to $6.0 million,
 or .77% of total assets at March 31, 2001 from $1.8 million, or .26% of total
 assets at March 31, 2000.  This increase in non-performing assets was
 primarily the result of delinquencies associated with the Security acquisition
 and the impairment of a $2.0 million commercial loan that was reported at
 September 30, 2000.
     Non-interest income for the current quarter increased $818,000 over the
 prior year's quarter and $1.1 million for the six months ended March 31, 2001,
 over the same prior year period.  The increase in the current quarter non-
 interest income was primarily the result of $425,000 commission income from
 Higgins Insurance Associates, and a $130,000 increase in fee income from
 Northeast Pennsylvania Trust Co.  At March 31, 2001, Northeast Pennsylvania
 Trust Co. had $90.6 million of assets under management.  Gain on securities
 sold from available-for-sale increased $131,000 from the prior year quarter.
 Service fee income increased $108,000 as a result of higher outstanding
 balances on deposits.  The increase for the six month period was also
 attributable to increases in commission income and trust fee income, as well
 as a $483,000 increase in gain on sale of loans.
     Non-interest expense increased $1.5 million, or 43.5%, for the current
 quarter over the same prior year's quarter and $2.0 million, or 27.9%, for the
 current year to date over the prior year to date.  Both quarterly and year to
 date increases were primarily attributable to increases in salaries and
 employee benefits, amortization of intangible assets and occupancy expense as
 a result of the acquisitions of Security and Higgins Insurance Associates.
     Total assets grew $41.0 million, or 5.5%, during the current quarter from
 $741.7 million to $782.7 million.  This change was primarily due to an
 increase in mortgage backed securities and investments available for sale,
 which increased $27.9 million, or 16.2%, as a result of purchases utilizing
 the proceeds from FHLB advances, which had been paid down in the previous
 quarter with the proceeds from the loan sale.  Loans receivable, net increased
 $5.5 million primarily as a result of originations of automobile loans, from
 an increased list of participating dealers.  Advances from the Federal Home
 Loan Bank increased $28.5 million, which were used to fund the purchase of
 securities.
     Total equity increased $4.9 million primarily as a result of the
 reissuance of treasury stock in the amount of $2.5 million for the purchase of
 Higgins Insurance Associates.  Also contributing to the change in equity was
 earnings for the current quarter and a decrease in unrealized (losses) on
 securities.
     As of the close of business on December 31, 2000, Northeast Pennsylvania
 Financial Corp. acquired Higgins Insurance Associates, Inc., which is
 headquartered in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and has been serving customers
 throughout Schuylkill and Luzerne counties since 1946.
     Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. (the "Company") is the holding
 company for First Federal Bank (the "Bank"), Northeast Pennsylvania Trust Co.
 (the "Trust Co."), Abstractors, Inc., Higgins Insurance Agency and FIDACO,
 Inc.  The Company through its subsidiaries serve Northeastern and Central
 Pennsylvania through sixteen full service community office locations, two
 financial centers and a loan production office.
     Statements contained in this news release, which are not historical facts,
 are forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are
 subject to risk and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which
 include, but are not limited to, factors discussed in documents filed by the
 Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.
     Cash earnings, as defined, are not a substitute for other financial
 measures determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting
 principles.  Because all companies do not calculate cash earnings in the same
 fashion, these measures as presented may not be comparable to other similarly
 titled measures of other companies.
 
       NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA FINANCIAL CORP.
       SELECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
       (Dollars in Thousands, Except Per Share data and ratios)
 
                              Three months ended         Six months ended
                                  March 31,                  March 31,
     Operating Data:          2001         2000          2001         2000
 
     Total interest income  $13,540       $11,162      $26,499       $21,891
     Total interest expense   8,036         6,456       15,776        12,461
     Net interest income      5,504         4,706       10,723         9,430
     Provision for loan losses  264           238          263           443
     Net interest income after
      provision loan losses   5,240         4,468       10,460         8,987
     Non-interest income      1,176           358        1,883           794
     Non-interest expense     5,097         3,553        9,210         7,199
     Income before
      income taxes            1,319         1,273        3,133         2,582
     Income taxes               296           174          818           337
     Net income              $1,023        $1,099       $2,315        $2,245
     Earnings per share
      - basic                 $0.21         $0.23        $0.49         $0.45
     Earnings per share
      - diluted               $0.21         $0.22        $0.47         $0.43
     Weighted average
      shares outstanding
      - basic             4,811,678     4,850,583    4,742,783     4,975,761
     Weighted average
      shares outstanding
      - diluted           4,969,766     5,044,953    4,890,867     5,169,656
     Net interest income
      on a tax equivalent
      basis                   5,800         5,175       11,305        10,368
 
 
     Balance Sheet Data:            3/31/01         12/31/00       9/30/00
 
     Total assets                   $782,685        $741,717      $637,342
     Total securities                244,231         218,658       187,810
     Loans, net                      486,459         480,941       415,105
     Deposits                        481,453         476,219       419,671
     FHLB Advances                   210,951         182,456       137,461
     Total equity                     78,675          73,769        72,975
     Book value per share*            $15.91          $15.60        $14.73
     Book value per share, including
      unallocated ESOP shares and
      unvested RRP shares             $14.79          $14.42        $13.79
     Tangible book value per share*   $13.13          $13.73        $14.47
     Tangible book value per share,
      including unallocated ESOP
      and unvested RRP shares         $12.21          $12.69        $13.54
 
     *Excluded ESOP shares committed to be released and unvested shares of
      restricted stock awards.
 
 
     Average Balance Sheet Data**:                    3/31/01        3/31/00
 
     Average total assets                            $764,344       $645,525
     Average total earning assets                     729,325        622,018
     Average loans, net                               488,520        394,422
     Average stockholder's equity                     $76,562        $71,382
 
     **Numbers represent quarterly data
 
 
                              Three months ended           Six months ended
                                   March 31,                  March 31,
     Selected Ratios:          2001         2000          2001         2000
 
     Return on average
      assets(1)                .58%          .68%         .63%          .71%
     Return on average
      equity(1)               5.34%         6.16%        6.10%         6.13%
     Net interest margin
      (fully tax
       equivalent)(1)         3.16%         3.32%        3.23%         3.40%
     Allowances for loan
      losses to loans, net    1.04%          .80%        1.04%          .80%
 
     (1) Annualized
 
 

SOURCE Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp.
    HAZLETON, Pa., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- E. Lee Beard, President and Chief
 Executive Officer of Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. (the "Company")
 (Amex:   NEP), the holding company for First Federal Bank (the "Bank"), reported
 net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 of $1.0 million, or $.21
 diluted earnings per share, compared to net income of $1.1 million, or $.22
 diluted earnings per share for the same period last year.  For the six months
 ended March 31, 2001, the Company had net income of $2.3 million, or $.47
 diluted earnings per share compared to $2.2 million net income, or $.43
 diluted earnings per share for the six months ended March 31, 2000.
     Cash earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 were $1.3 million, or
 $.25 per diluted share, compared to $1.2 million, or $.23 diluted earnings per
 share for the same period last year.  Cash earnings for the six months ended
 March 31, 2001 and March 31, 2000 were $2.7 million, or $.55 diluted earnings
 per share, and $2.4 million, or $.46 diluted earnings per share, respectively.
 Cash earnings are operating earnings excluding amortization of intangible
 assets.
     The Board of Directors of Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. today
 announced a cash dividend for the three months ended March 31, 2001, of $.09
 per share, payable to shareholders of record as of the close of business on
 May 11, 2001.  Payment of the cash dividend will be made on or about May 29,
 2001.
     Net interest income for the current quarter rose $798,000, or 17.0%, over
 the prior year quarter and rose $1.3 million, or 13.7%, for the six months
 ended March 31, 2001 over the same prior year period.  These increases were
 primarily attributable to higher outstanding loan balances and investments,
 offset in part by higher interest expense on certificates of deposit, which
 were attributable primarily to the acquisition of Security of Pennsylvania
 Financial Corp. ("Security").
     The provision for loan losses increased $26,000, or 10.9%, for the current
 quarter over the prior year quarter and decreased $180,000, or 40.6%, for the
 six months ended March 31, 2001 over the same prior year period.  At March 31,
 2001 and 2000, the allowances for loan losses were $5.1 million and
 $3.3 million, respectively.  The allowance was 93.7% of non-performing loans
 and 1.04% of total loans at March 31, 2001 compared to 155.7% of
 non-performing loans and .79% of total loans at March 31, 2000.  The increase
 in the allowance was in part as a result of the $817,000 of allowance obtained
 in the Security acquisition.  Non-performing assets increased to $6.0 million,
 or .77% of total assets at March 31, 2001 from $1.8 million, or .26% of total
 assets at March 31, 2000.  This increase in non-performing assets was
 primarily the result of delinquencies associated with the Security acquisition
 and the impairment of a $2.0 million commercial loan that was reported at
 September 30, 2000.
     Non-interest income for the current quarter increased $818,000 over the
 prior year's quarter and $1.1 million for the six months ended March 31, 2001,
 over the same prior year period.  The increase in the current quarter non-
 interest income was primarily the result of $425,000 commission income from
 Higgins Insurance Associates, and a $130,000 increase in fee income from
 Northeast Pennsylvania Trust Co.  At March 31, 2001, Northeast Pennsylvania
 Trust Co. had $90.6 million of assets under management.  Gain on securities
 sold from available-for-sale increased $131,000 from the prior year quarter.
 Service fee income increased $108,000 as a result of higher outstanding
 balances on deposits.  The increase for the six month period was also
 attributable to increases in commission income and trust fee income, as well
 as a $483,000 increase in gain on sale of loans.
     Non-interest expense increased $1.5 million, or 43.5%, for the current
 quarter over the same prior year's quarter and $2.0 million, or 27.9%, for the
 current year to date over the prior year to date.  Both quarterly and year to
 date increases were primarily attributable to increases in salaries and
 employee benefits, amortization of intangible assets and occupancy expense as
 a result of the acquisitions of Security and Higgins Insurance Associates.
     Total assets grew $41.0 million, or 5.5%, during the current quarter from
 $741.7 million to $782.7 million.  This change was primarily due to an
 increase in mortgage backed securities and investments available for sale,
 which increased $27.9 million, or 16.2%, as a result of purchases utilizing
 the proceeds from FHLB advances, which had been paid down in the previous
 quarter with the proceeds from the loan sale.  Loans receivable, net increased
 $5.5 million primarily as a result of originations of automobile loans, from
 an increased list of participating dealers.  Advances from the Federal Home
 Loan Bank increased $28.5 million, which were used to fund the purchase of
 securities.
     Total equity increased $4.9 million primarily as a result of the
 reissuance of treasury stock in the amount of $2.5 million for the purchase of
 Higgins Insurance Associates.  Also contributing to the change in equity was
 earnings for the current quarter and a decrease in unrealized (losses) on
 securities.
     As of the close of business on December 31, 2000, Northeast Pennsylvania
 Financial Corp. acquired Higgins Insurance Associates, Inc., which is
 headquartered in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and has been serving customers
 throughout Schuylkill and Luzerne counties since 1946.
     Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp. (the "Company") is the holding
 company for First Federal Bank (the "Bank"), Northeast Pennsylvania Trust Co.
 (the "Trust Co."), Abstractors, Inc., Higgins Insurance Agency and FIDACO,
 Inc.  The Company through its subsidiaries serve Northeastern and Central
 Pennsylvania through sixteen full service community office locations, two
 financial centers and a loan production office.
     Statements contained in this news release, which are not historical facts,
 are forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are
 subject to risk and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which
 include, but are not limited to, factors discussed in documents filed by the
 Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.
     Cash earnings, as defined, are not a substitute for other financial
 measures determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting
 principles.  Because all companies do not calculate cash earnings in the same
 fashion, these measures as presented may not be comparable to other similarly
 titled measures of other companies.
 
       NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA FINANCIAL CORP.
       SELECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
       (Dollars in Thousands, Except Per Share data and ratios)
 
                              Three months ended         Six months ended
                                  March 31,                  March 31,
     Operating Data:          2001         2000          2001         2000
 
     Total interest income  $13,540       $11,162      $26,499       $21,891
     Total interest expense   8,036         6,456       15,776        12,461
     Net interest income      5,504         4,706       10,723         9,430
     Provision for loan losses  264           238          263           443
     Net interest income after
      provision loan losses   5,240         4,468       10,460         8,987
     Non-interest income      1,176           358        1,883           794
     Non-interest expense     5,097         3,553        9,210         7,199
     Income before
      income taxes            1,319         1,273        3,133         2,582
     Income taxes               296           174          818           337
     Net income              $1,023        $1,099       $2,315        $2,245
     Earnings per share
      - basic                 $0.21         $0.23        $0.49         $0.45
     Earnings per share
      - diluted               $0.21         $0.22        $0.47         $0.43
     Weighted average
      shares outstanding
      - basic             4,811,678     4,850,583    4,742,783     4,975,761
     Weighted average
      shares outstanding
      - diluted           4,969,766     5,044,953    4,890,867     5,169,656
     Net interest income
      on a tax equivalent
      basis                   5,800         5,175       11,305        10,368
 
 
     Balance Sheet Data:            3/31/01         12/31/00       9/30/00
 
     Total assets                   $782,685        $741,717      $637,342
     Total securities                244,231         218,658       187,810
     Loans, net                      486,459         480,941       415,105
     Deposits                        481,453         476,219       419,671
     FHLB Advances                   210,951         182,456       137,461
     Total equity                     78,675          73,769        72,975
     Book value per share*            $15.91          $15.60        $14.73
     Book value per share, including
      unallocated ESOP shares and
      unvested RRP shares             $14.79          $14.42        $13.79
     Tangible book value per share*   $13.13          $13.73        $14.47
     Tangible book value per share,
      including unallocated ESOP
      and unvested RRP shares         $12.21          $12.69        $13.54
 
     *Excluded ESOP shares committed to be released and unvested shares of
      restricted stock awards.
 
 
     Average Balance Sheet Data**:                    3/31/01        3/31/00
 
     Average total assets                            $764,344       $645,525
     Average total earning assets                     729,325        622,018
     Average loans, net                               488,520        394,422
     Average stockholder's equity                     $76,562        $71,382
 
     **Numbers represent quarterly data
 
 
                              Three months ended           Six months ended
                                   March 31,                  March 31,
     Selected Ratios:          2001         2000          2001         2000
 
     Return on average
      assets(1)                .58%          .68%         .63%          .71%
     Return on average
      equity(1)               5.34%         6.16%        6.10%         6.13%
     Net interest margin
      (fully tax
       equivalent)(1)         3.16%         3.32%        3.23%         3.40%
     Allowances for loan
      losses to loans, net    1.04%          .80%        1.04%          .80%
 
     (1) Annualized
 
 SOURCE  Northeast Pennsylvania Financial Corp.