SouthTrust Announces First-Quarter Earnings Per Share of $0.76

Summary:

* Net-interest margin improves by 13 basis points

* Net loans charged off only 0.29 percent

* Non-interest expense growth contained to 1 percent



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from SouthTrust Corporation

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 SouthTrust Corporation (Nasdaq:   SOTR) today announced record earnings of
 $129.9 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2001.
 For the first quarter of 2001, earnings and earnings per share were up
 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2000.
 First-quarter 2001 marks the 41st consecutive quarter of increased earnings.
     "We are pleased to begin 2001 with a very good quarter," said Wallace D.
 Malone Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SouthTrust Corporation.
 "Earnings this quarter were driven by a strong improvement in our net-interest
 margin, solid non-interest income growth, favorable expense trends and stable
 asset quality.  While the economy has slowed across the Southeast, SouthTrust
 has continued to produce high quality earnings at an above average growth
 rate.  There is no financial engineering -- no one-time charges, no asset
 sales to cover losses or reserves, no share repurchases and no reduction in
 reserve ratios.  Going forward, SouthTrust will continue to benefit from
 declining interest rates.  We also expect to benefit from growth in
 non-interest income while maintaining a sound cost structure.  While industry
 NPAs are increasing, SouthTrust has historically experienced very low losses
 relative to NPAs, and we expect this trend to continue.  We feel good about
 2001."
     SouthTrust's net-interest income increased during the first quarter to
 $350.9 million from $339.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.  The
 improvement was the result of a 13 basis-point rise in the company's
 net-interest margin, which increased to 3.42 percent from 3.29 percent, and a
 7 percent annualized increase in average earning assets, which increased to
 $42.0 billion from $41.3 billion.  For the quarter, earning asset yields
 declined 24 basis points while funding costs declined by 41 basis points.
     Non-interest income was $130.4 million, a 15 percent increase over the
 first quarter of 2000.  Mortgage banking revenue increased by $3.3 million, up
 34 percent from fourth-quarter 2000. Compared to the first quarter of 2000,
 mortgage banking revenue increased by $4.6 million, up 54 percent.
 First-quarter mortgage production was $900 million, 45 percent of which was
 related to refinancing.  By comparison, mortgage production for the same
 period last year was $517 million, with only 20 percent of that total related
 to refinancing. Additionally, service charges on deposit accounts, bank card
 fees, debit card fees and investment fees each produced double-digit growth
 during the past twelve months.
     Non-interest expense for the first quarter was $267 million, up 1 percent
 compared to the first quarter of 2000.  Initiatives to reduce expenses
 throughout the company have improved the company's efficiency ratio.  The
 efficiency ratio is now 55 percent compared to 56 percent in first-quarter
 2000 and 57 percent in fourth-quarter 2000.
     Net loans charged-off were $22.8 million, down $1 million from the
 fourth-quarter 2000, and in line with the $22.6 million experienced in the
 first quarter last year.  As a percentage of average loans, net loans charged
 off were 0.29 percent, equal to the fourth quarter of 2000.  Non-performing
 assets as a percentage of total loans and other non-performing assets were
 0.73 percent, a $25 million increase over the year-end 2000 level of
 0.66 percent.
     During the quarter, SouthTrust continued to focus on expanding its Texas
 presence.  In March, SouthTrust completed the acquisitions of Irving National
 Bancshares Inc. in Irving, a suburb of Dallas, and Bay Bancshares Inc. in
 LaPorte, a suburb of Houston.  The acquisitions brought 14 new banking offices
 to SouthTrust's Texas operations.  SouthTrust now operates 49 offices and
 55 ATMs in Texas.  SouthTrust's Texas franchise now manages more than
 $3 billion in assets.
 
     SouthTrust Corporation ( www.southtrust.com ) is a $46.0 billion regional
 bank holding company with headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.  SouthTrust
 operates more than 630 banking offices and 800 ATMs in Alabama, Florida,
 Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
 The company offers a complete line of banking and other related financial
 services to commercial and retail customers.  SouthTrust is a Forbes Platinum
 400 and FORTUNE 500 company that trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the
 symbol SOTR and is included in the S&P 500 index.
 
     Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
     This release includes forward-looking statements and projections, made in
 reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.
     The company has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the
 information and assumptions on which these statements and projections are
 based are current, reasonable, and complete.  However, a variety of factors
 could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections,
 anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release.
     While the company makes these statements and projections in good faith,
 neither the company nor its management can guarantee that the anticipated
 future results will be achieved.
 
     Detailed financial tables are available at www.investor.southtrust.com
 
     SOUTHTRUST CORPORATION
     Financial Highlights
 
                         Three Months                   Year Ended
                        Ended March 31,      %         December 31,        %
                        2001       2000    Change    2000        1999    Change
     SUMMARY INCOME
      STATEMENT
     (Fully taxable
      equivalent, in
      thousands)
 
     Interest income   $847,876   $819,084        $3,408,617  $2,921,330
     Interest expense   493,575    459,347         2,008,351   1,539,538
     Net interest
      income            354,301    359,737         1,400,266   1,381,792
     Tax equivalent
      adjustment         (3,379)    (3,577)          (14,529)    (14,883)
     Provision for
      loan losses        22,811     30,662            92,827     141,249
     Net interest
      income after
      provision for
      loan losses       328,111    325,498         1,292,910   1,225,660
     Non-interest
      income
      (excluding
      securities
      transactions)     130,348    112,915           516,751     444,296
     Securities
      transactions           12        561           (11,068)       (739)
     Non-interest
      expense           267,002    263,612         1,087,196   1,010,501
     Income before
      income taxes      191,469    175,362           711,397     658,716
     Income taxes        61,613     57,274           229,067     215,543
     Net income        $129,856   $118,088 10.0%    $482,330    $443,173  8.8%
 
 
     EARNINGS & DIVIDENDS
     (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 
     Basic:
     Earnings per
      share               $0.77      $0.70 10.0%       $2.87       $2.64  8.7%
     Average shares
      outstanding       169,325    168,037           168,218     167,560
 
     Diluted:
     Earnings per
      share               $0.76      $0.70  8.6%       $2.86       $2.63  8.7%
     Average shares
      outstanding       170,864    168,697           168,906     168,778
 
     Cash dividends
      declared per
      share               $0.28      $0.25 12.0%       $1.00       $0.88 13.6%
 
 
     PERFORMANCE RATIOS
 
     Return on
      average assets       1.16%      1.09%             1.09%       1.10%
 
     Return on
      average
      tangible assets      1.18       1.11              1.11        1.12
 
     Return on
      average equity      15.33      16.12             15.72       15.75
 
     Return on
      average
      tangible equity     18.42      20.19             19.53       19.70
 
     Net interest
      margin (FTE)         3.42       3.57              3.42        3.72
 
     Net loans
      charged-off to
      net average
      loans                0.29       0.28              0.29        0.29
 
     Allowance to net
      loans
      outstanding          1.44       1.42              1.43        1.40
 
     Non-interest
      expense as a %
      of average
      total assets         2.39       2.43              2.47        2.51
 
     Efficiency ratio     55.09      55.77             56.71       55.34
 
 
     SELECTED AVERAGE BALANCES
     (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 
     Loans, net of
      unearned income $31,564.7  $31,931.3 -1.1%   $32,022.6   $29,307.9  9.3%
 
     Earning assets    42,018.1   40,292.7  4.3%    40,776.3    37,107.0  9.9%
 
     Total assets      45,231.7   43,565.0  3.8%    44,058.9    40,238.5  9.5%
 
     Deposits          28,736.9   28,773.6 -0.1%    29,002.3    25,812.9 12.4%
 
     Stockholders'
      equity            3,436.1    2,946.0 16.6%     3,068.6     2,814.0  9.0%
 
 
     SELECTED PERIOD END BALANCES
     (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 
                       Mar 31     Mar 31     %      Dec 31      Dec 31     %
                        2001       2000    Change    2000        1999    Change
 
     Loans, net of
      unearned income $31,963.7  $31,824.6  0.4%   $31,396.2   $31,697.8 -1.0%
 
     Total assets      45,957.2   43,866.3  4.8%    45,146.5    43,262.5  4.4%
 
     Deposits          28,558.9   28,550.5  0.0%    30,702.5    27,739.3 10.7%
 
     Stockholders'
      equity            3,530.6    2,974.3 18.7%     3,352.5     2,927.4 14.5%
 
     Shares
      outstanding (in
      thousands)        169,968    168,096           169,053     167,905
 
     Book value per
      share              $20.77     $17.69            $19.83      $17.44
 
     Number of
      banking offices       654        631               641         623
 
     Number of ATMs         803        775               773         770
 
     Full-time
      equivalent
      employees          12,207     12,471            12,188      12,537
 
 

SOURCE SouthTrust Corporation
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 SouthTrust Corporation (Nasdaq:   SOTR) today announced record earnings of
 $129.9 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2001.
 For the first quarter of 2001, earnings and earnings per share were up
 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2000.
 First-quarter 2001 marks the 41st consecutive quarter of increased earnings.
     "We are pleased to begin 2001 with a very good quarter," said Wallace D.
 Malone Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SouthTrust Corporation.
 "Earnings this quarter were driven by a strong improvement in our net-interest
 margin, solid non-interest income growth, favorable expense trends and stable
 asset quality.  While the economy has slowed across the Southeast, SouthTrust
 has continued to produce high quality earnings at an above average growth
 rate.  There is no financial engineering -- no one-time charges, no asset
 sales to cover losses or reserves, no share repurchases and no reduction in
 reserve ratios.  Going forward, SouthTrust will continue to benefit from
 declining interest rates.  We also expect to benefit from growth in
 non-interest income while maintaining a sound cost structure.  While industry
 NPAs are increasing, SouthTrust has historically experienced very low losses
 relative to NPAs, and we expect this trend to continue.  We feel good about
 2001."
     SouthTrust's net-interest income increased during the first quarter to
 $350.9 million from $339.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.  The
 improvement was the result of a 13 basis-point rise in the company's
 net-interest margin, which increased to 3.42 percent from 3.29 percent, and a
 7 percent annualized increase in average earning assets, which increased to
 $42.0 billion from $41.3 billion.  For the quarter, earning asset yields
 declined 24 basis points while funding costs declined by 41 basis points.
     Non-interest income was $130.4 million, a 15 percent increase over the
 first quarter of 2000.  Mortgage banking revenue increased by $3.3 million, up
 34 percent from fourth-quarter 2000. Compared to the first quarter of 2000,
 mortgage banking revenue increased by $4.6 million, up 54 percent.
 First-quarter mortgage production was $900 million, 45 percent of which was
 related to refinancing.  By comparison, mortgage production for the same
 period last year was $517 million, with only 20 percent of that total related
 to refinancing. Additionally, service charges on deposit accounts, bank card
 fees, debit card fees and investment fees each produced double-digit growth
 during the past twelve months.
     Non-interest expense for the first quarter was $267 million, up 1 percent
 compared to the first quarter of 2000.  Initiatives to reduce expenses
 throughout the company have improved the company's efficiency ratio.  The
 efficiency ratio is now 55 percent compared to 56 percent in first-quarter
 2000 and 57 percent in fourth-quarter 2000.
     Net loans charged-off were $22.8 million, down $1 million from the
 fourth-quarter 2000, and in line with the $22.6 million experienced in the
 first quarter last year.  As a percentage of average loans, net loans charged
 off were 0.29 percent, equal to the fourth quarter of 2000.  Non-performing
 assets as a percentage of total loans and other non-performing assets were
 0.73 percent, a $25 million increase over the year-end 2000 level of
 0.66 percent.
     During the quarter, SouthTrust continued to focus on expanding its Texas
 presence.  In March, SouthTrust completed the acquisitions of Irving National
 Bancshares Inc. in Irving, a suburb of Dallas, and Bay Bancshares Inc. in
 LaPorte, a suburb of Houston.  The acquisitions brought 14 new banking offices
 to SouthTrust's Texas operations.  SouthTrust now operates 49 offices and
 55 ATMs in Texas.  SouthTrust's Texas franchise now manages more than
 $3 billion in assets.
 
     SouthTrust Corporation ( www.southtrust.com ) is a $46.0 billion regional
 bank holding company with headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.  SouthTrust
 operates more than 630 banking offices and 800 ATMs in Alabama, Florida,
 Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
 The company offers a complete line of banking and other related financial
 services to commercial and retail customers.  SouthTrust is a Forbes Platinum
 400 and FORTUNE 500 company that trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the
 symbol SOTR and is included in the S&P 500 index.
 
     Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
     This release includes forward-looking statements and projections, made in
 reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.
     The company has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the
 information and assumptions on which these statements and projections are
 based are current, reasonable, and complete.  However, a variety of factors
 could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections,
 anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release.
     While the company makes these statements and projections in good faith,
 neither the company nor its management can guarantee that the anticipated
 future results will be achieved.
 
     Detailed financial tables are available at www.investor.southtrust.com
 
     SOUTHTRUST CORPORATION
     Financial Highlights
 
                         Three Months                   Year Ended
                        Ended March 31,      %         December 31,        %
                        2001       2000    Change    2000        1999    Change
     SUMMARY INCOME
      STATEMENT
     (Fully taxable
      equivalent, in
      thousands)
 
     Interest income   $847,876   $819,084        $3,408,617  $2,921,330
     Interest expense   493,575    459,347         2,008,351   1,539,538
     Net interest
      income            354,301    359,737         1,400,266   1,381,792
     Tax equivalent
      adjustment         (3,379)    (3,577)          (14,529)    (14,883)
     Provision for
      loan losses        22,811     30,662            92,827     141,249
     Net interest
      income after
      provision for
      loan losses       328,111    325,498         1,292,910   1,225,660
     Non-interest
      income
      (excluding
      securities
      transactions)     130,348    112,915           516,751     444,296
     Securities
      transactions           12        561           (11,068)       (739)
     Non-interest
      expense           267,002    263,612         1,087,196   1,010,501
     Income before
      income taxes      191,469    175,362           711,397     658,716
     Income taxes        61,613     57,274           229,067     215,543
     Net income        $129,856   $118,088 10.0%    $482,330    $443,173  8.8%
 
 
     EARNINGS & DIVIDENDS
     (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 
     Basic:
     Earnings per
      share               $0.77      $0.70 10.0%       $2.87       $2.64  8.7%
     Average shares
      outstanding       169,325    168,037           168,218     167,560
 
     Diluted:
     Earnings per
      share               $0.76      $0.70  8.6%       $2.86       $2.63  8.7%
     Average shares
      outstanding       170,864    168,697           168,906     168,778
 
     Cash dividends
      declared per
      share               $0.28      $0.25 12.0%       $1.00       $0.88 13.6%
 
 
     PERFORMANCE RATIOS
 
     Return on
      average assets       1.16%      1.09%             1.09%       1.10%
 
     Return on
      average
      tangible assets      1.18       1.11              1.11        1.12
 
     Return on
      average equity      15.33      16.12             15.72       15.75
 
     Return on
      average
      tangible equity     18.42      20.19             19.53       19.70
 
     Net interest
      margin (FTE)         3.42       3.57              3.42        3.72
 
     Net loans
      charged-off to
      net average
      loans                0.29       0.28              0.29        0.29
 
     Allowance to net
      loans
      outstanding          1.44       1.42              1.43        1.40
 
     Non-interest
      expense as a %
      of average
      total assets         2.39       2.43              2.47        2.51
 
     Efficiency ratio     55.09      55.77             56.71       55.34
 
 
     SELECTED AVERAGE BALANCES
     (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 
     Loans, net of
      unearned income $31,564.7  $31,931.3 -1.1%   $32,022.6   $29,307.9  9.3%
 
     Earning assets    42,018.1   40,292.7  4.3%    40,776.3    37,107.0  9.9%
 
     Total assets      45,231.7   43,565.0  3.8%    44,058.9    40,238.5  9.5%
 
     Deposits          28,736.9   28,773.6 -0.1%    29,002.3    25,812.9 12.4%
 
     Stockholders'
      equity            3,436.1    2,946.0 16.6%     3,068.6     2,814.0  9.0%
 
 
     SELECTED PERIOD END BALANCES
     (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 
                       Mar 31     Mar 31     %      Dec 31      Dec 31     %
                        2001       2000    Change    2000        1999    Change
 
     Loans, net of
      unearned income $31,963.7  $31,824.6  0.4%   $31,396.2   $31,697.8 -1.0%
 
     Total assets      45,957.2   43,866.3  4.8%    45,146.5    43,262.5  4.4%
 
     Deposits          28,558.9   28,550.5  0.0%    30,702.5    27,739.3 10.7%
 
     Stockholders'
      equity            3,530.6    2,974.3 18.7%     3,352.5     2,927.4 14.5%
 
     Shares
      outstanding (in
      thousands)        169,968    168,096           169,053     167,905
 
     Book value per
      share              $20.77     $17.69            $19.83      $17.44
 
     Number of
      banking offices       654        631               641         623
 
     Number of ATMs         803        775               773         770
 
     Full-time
      equivalent
      employees          12,207     12,471            12,188      12,537
 
 SOURCE  SouthTrust Corporation