Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Charges Spur 22 Percent Cut in Banc One's `97 Net Income

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Charges Spur 22 Percent Cut in Banc One's `97 Net Income

Article excerpt

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Bloomberg) -- Banc One's net income fell 22 percent in 1997 due to one-time charges, countering a fourth quarter increase.

The Columbus-based bank holding company posted a profit last year of $1.3 billion, or $2.19 a share, down from $1.67 billion, or $2.77, in 1996. Excluding one-time charges, Banc One's `97 profit from operations rose 8 percent to $1.8 billion, or $3.04 a share.

Its fourth quarter earnings rose 7.4 percent as loans and fees surged, while loan losses and operating expenses increased. Banc One, which completed its purchase of Liberty Bancorp last year, said Tuesday its quarterly net income rose to $474.8 million, or 79 cents a share, from $442 million, or 74 cents, in the year-earlier period. That met the average forecast of 25 analysts surveyed by IBES International. "They made good progress in this quarter," said Moshe Orenbuch, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, who rates the bank "outperform." "Expenses were down, and there's a lot of room for them to reduce expenses going forward." Banc One said it will pay a 10 percent stock dividend Feb. 26, to shareholders of record Feb. 12. Shareholders will still receive the current cash dividend of 38 cents a share March 31. Banc One, which became the third-largest credit card issuer in the U.S. by acquiring First USA, said it would shrink its network of consumer bank branches. It also plans to centralize its franchise into a national business from dozens of regional businesses. Net interest income fell 2 percent to $1.32 billion, even as total managed loans and leases rose 12 percent to $113.3 billion. Credit card loans surged 20 percent from the year-ago period, while other consumer loans rose 16 percent. Business loans rose 7.3 percent from the year-ago quarter. First USA opened 8.1 million credit card accounts last year, including a record 2. …

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