Three big bank companies across the nation displayed varying signs of strength on Thursday as they issued second-quarter profit reports.

BankAmerica Corp., the nation's second-largest bank company, reported signs of progress on loan volume and credit quality as profits rose 103% over the year-earlier quarter to $488 million. But the big increase was colored by a major acquisition-related charge the previous year.

Some analysts complained that the Califonia company's profit levels still trailed its peers'.

Bankers Trust New York Corp., like many of its East Coast competitors, used big second-quarter trading gains to net strong gains in the April-to-June quarter. The nation's seventh largest bank company reported earnings of $251 million, 35% higher than in the second quarter of 1992.

Bank of Boston offered signs that New England may be recovering from the doldrums, as it reported $66 million of net income in the second quarter amid increased loan volume. Excluding tax gains booked in the year-earlier period, Boston's biggest bank saw income rise 47% from the 1992 quarter.

Several other companies - including Boston's BayBanks, Chicago's Harris Bankcorp and Bancorp Hawaii - also reported second-quarter gains on Thursday.

WEST

Thursday's report from BankAmerica Corp., which translated to $1.19 a share, looked particularly impressive compared with last year's quarter, when the San Francisco-based company took big charges related to its April 1992 purchase of Security Pacific Corp. But bank executives indicated continuing concern with their home state's weak economy.

Lewis W. Coleman, BankAmerica's chairman and chief financial officer, said the company had "good, solid earnings" in view of the economic slump in California.

Outstanding loans inched up 0.2% in the period, the first quarter-to-quarter gain in a year. But "there was not enough growth to declare victory," Mr. Coleman said at a press conference.

Analysts were divided on the quality of the company's results, the first in a year that did not include significant expenses related to the Security Pacific acquisition.

Campbell K. Chaney of DakinBANKAMERICA CORP.San Francisco- Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) -SECOND QUARTER 2Q93 2Q92Net Income .................. $488 $240Per Share ................... 1.19 0.63ROA ......................... 1.06% 0.57%ROE ......................... 12.16% 7.62%Net interest margin ......... 4.76% 4.56%Net interest income ......... 1,857 1,681Noninterest income .......... 1,058 1,009Noninterest expense ......... 1,853 1,979Loss provision .............. 200 240Net chargeoffs .............. 324 194YEAR TO DATE 1993 1992Net Income .................. $972 $543Per share ................... 2.38 1.74ROA ......................... 1.06% 0.76%ROE ......................... 12.35% 10.36%Net interest margin ......... 4.76% 4.60%Net interest income ......... 3.705 2,914Noninterest income .......... 2,147 1,605Noninterest expense ......... 3,701 3,071Loss provision .............. 435 470Net chargeoffs .............. 627 413BALANCE SHEET 6/30/93 6/30/92Assets ...................... $185,466 $188,582Deposits .................... 141,409 139,239Loans ....................... 124,448 132,530Reserve/nonp. loans ......... 108.26% 96.30%Nonperf. loans/loans ........ 2.81% 3.51%Nonperf. asset/asset ........ 2.81% 3.31%Leverage cap. ratio ......... 6.20% 5.88%Tier 1 cap. ratio ........... 6.90% 6.20%Tier 1+2 cap. ratio ......... 11.70% 10.40%

Securities complained that BankAmerica's returns of 1.06% on assets and 12.16% on equity were "somewhat below average," due mainly to weak revenue, high costs, and the expense of amortizing acquisition-related goodwill.

But Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette analyst Thomas K. BrownBANKERS TRUST NEW YORKNew York- Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) -SECOND QUARTER 2Q93 2Q92Net Income ................. $251.0 $186.0Per share .................. 2.97 2.16ROA ........................ 1.16% 0.99%ROE ........................ 25.56% 23.39%Net interest margin ........ 1.61% 1.51%Net interest income ........ 319.0 252.0Noninterest income ......... 832.0 689.0Noninterest expense ........ 749.0 589.0Loss provision ............. 23.0 75.0Net chargeoffs ............. 51.0 109.0YEAR TO DATE 1993 1992Net income ................. $481.0 $340.0Per share .................. 5.66 3.92ROA ........................ 1.17% 0.95%ROE ........................ 24.93% 21.63%Net interest margin ........ 1.70% 1.51%Net interest income ........ 634.0 475.0Noninterest income ......... 1,566.0 1,277.0Noninterest expense ........ 1,430.0 1,124.0Loss provision ............. 53.0 130.0Net chargeoffs ............. 172.0 164.0BALANCE SHEET 6/30/93 6/30/92Assets .....................$83,987.0 $74,685.0Deposits ................... 24,519.0 20,380.0Loans ...................... 16,101.0 16,198.0Reserve/nonp. loans ........ 126.00% 103.00%Nonperf. loans/loans ....... 7.40% 9.90%Nonperf. asset/asset ....... 2.00% 2.60%Leverage cap. ratio ........ 5.80% 5.80%Tier 1 cap ratio ........... 8.10% 6.90%Tier 1+2 cap. ratio ........ 14.10% 12.40%

said the quarter marked a "turning point," noting that revenue, asset quality, and capital all moved in the right direction.

The company's shares fell 87.5 cents to $44 in late trading Thursday.

After dropping for several quarters, BankAmerica's revenues rose to $2.71 billion, a slimBANK OF BOSTON CORP.Boston- Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) -SECOND QUARTER 2Q93 2Q92Net income ................. $65.5 $62.4Per share .................. 0.65 0.68ROA ........................ 0.80% 0.68%ROE ........................ 12.36% 14.94%Net interest margin ........ 4.31% 3.95%Net interest income ........ 308.1 268.3Noninterest income ......... 135.9 156.7Noninterest expense ........ 317.9 316.2Loss provision ............. 10.0 25.0Net chargeoffs ............. 45.7 45.2YEAR TO DATE 1993 1992Net income ................. $132.9 $119.2Per share .................. 1.32 1.36ROA ........................ 0.83% 0.77%ROE ........................ 12.82% 14.98%Net interest margin ........ 4.27% 3.76%Net interest income ........ 598.2 515.1Noninterest income ......... 270.2 335.9Noninterest expense ........ 644.4 632.4Loss provision ............. 20.0 70.0Net chargeoffs ............. 105.7 110.0BALANCE SHEET 6/30/93 6/30/92Assets .....................$32,765.5 $32,277.2Deposits ................... 24,759.0 25,258.8Loans ...................... 23,052.7 21,791.2Reserve/nonp. loans ........ 212.00% 142.00%Nonperf. loans/loans ....... 1.50% 2.90%Nonperf. asset/asset ....... 1.60% 3.20%Leverage cap. ratio ........ 7.00% 5.70%Tier 1 cap. ratio .......... 7.10% 6.00%Tier 1+2 cap. ratio ........ 12.00% 10.30%

$13 million gain from the first quarter. Net interest income edged up 2.7% in the quarter - offsetting a 2.9% decline in non-interest income.

Nonperforming loans and foreclosed real estate fell 10% in the quarter to $3.445 billion, due mainly to a reduction in problem commercial real estate loans. That did not include $707 million of real-estate assets sold during the quarter to a Morgan Stanley-led partnership.

The company trimmed its addition to loan-loss reserves to $200 million from $235 million in the first quarter and $240 million in the June quarter a year ago.

BankAmerica's Seattle-based Seafirst subsidiary, the dominant bank in Washington, had an outstanding quarter. It reported net income of $82.2 million and a return on assets of 2.19%. Seafirst produced 17% of BankAmerica's profits although it holds only 8% of the company's assets.

Separately, Honolulu-based Bancorp Hawaii reported second-quarter net income of $33.8 million, up 5.5% from the same period last year. The company's once-torrid profit growth has slowed substantially as the Hawaiian economy has cooled.

-- Sam Zuckerman

EAST

Bankers Trust New York Corp. booked stellar trading revenues of $405 million in the second period, propelling a quarterly gain of $186 million.

The results, which translated to $2.97 per share, far exceeded Wall Street's expectations of $2.16 a share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Nevertheless, Bankers Trust's stock was down $1.25 in late trading Thursday to $76 a share.

Analysts said investors who bought the stock last week on expectations of a strong trading quarter sold as the news came in. Bankers Trust shares jumped $1.875 a share last Thursday after the bank's main trading rival, J.P. Morgan & Co., reported huge trading pins in the second quarter.

Bankers Trust, the nation's seventh largest bank company, said its traders benefited from fluctuations in overseas interest rates and currencies during the quarter. Trading revenue climbed 21% since the second quarter of last year to a record $405 million. In the first quarter, the company booked $346 million of trading income.

In another reflection of Bankers Trust's trading prowess, net interest revenue soared 27% over the 1992 second quarter to $319 million and was up slightly from the first quarter's $315 million. The company said a steep yield curve aided its interest rate and currency arbitrage activities.

On other fronts, Bankers Trust performed as expected.

"Except for trading, it's pretty much a plain-vanilla quarter," said Raphael Soifer, an analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Fiduciary and funds management revenue of $176 million rose $17 million from the first quarter but were only slightly behind the year-earlier second quarter. Bankers Trust said it recorded lower performance-based fees from managing foreign exchange funds.

Corporate finance fees, a chronically weak area in recent years for the company, rose to $102 million, their highest level in three years. Total fees and commissions rose 26% over the 1992 quarter to $173 million.

Expenses increased 27% over the year-earlier period, reflecting higher incentive compensation.

Asset quality continued to improve, as Bankers Trust lowered its loan loss provision to $23 million from $30 million in the first quarter and $75 million one year earlier.

Chargeoffs of $51 million compared with $121 million during the first three months of the year, while cash-basis loans fell $177 million to 1.195 billion.

-- Yvette Kantrow

Bucking a trend at many other banks, Bank of Boston saw its loan outstandings grow by $1 billion in the second quarter.

The spurt, coupled with declines in nonperforming assets and expenses, helped New England's second largest bank turn a profit of $66 million that was up marginally from $62.4 million in the same period last year. However, the year-earlier quarter included tax benefits of $l7.8 million.

This year's quarterly earnings of 65 cents a share came in just one cent below analysts' consensus expectations, according to Zacks. Bank of Boston stock was trading at $23.625 a share late Thursday, down 12.5 cents.

The company's loan portfolio expanded 5% over both prior quarter and prior year levels. The company booked $600 million of new domestic commercial and industrial loans and $200 million of new home mortgages.

"We're hopeful that the loan growth will stick with us, that it's a sign that things are getting better in New England," William J. Shea, Bank of Boston's chief financial officer and treasurer, said in an interview.

Bank of Boston also said Thursday that it laid off 300 employees in the second quarter in a new cost-cutting campaign. More than half were corporate-office positions. Mr. Shea said.

Though savings from the layoffs will not be realized until this quarter, the company shaved $4 million from its noninterest expenses since the first quarter. The decline stemmed mostly from a premium refund received from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Credit quality continued to improve. Nonperforming assets declined to $526 million in the quarter from $597 million on March 31. The company's nonperforming portfolio, which has declined for seven consecutive quarters, is at its lowest level in seven years.

BayBanks, one of the company's Boston competitors, reported a healthy gain of $14.2 million in the second quarter, a 118% increase over the same period last year, as asset quality and loan growth improved.

Nonperforming assets registered their ninth consecutive quarterly decline to $324 million from $350 million in the first period. The company's net interest margin grew 13 basis points since the first quarter to 4.96% primarily because of 126 million of new installment loans on its books.

BayBanks, which ended the quarter with $9.8 billion of assets, also announced a 5-cent hike in its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share. BayBanks' stock rose 50 cents to $45 a share in late afternoon trading Thursday. -- Yvette Kantrow

MIDWEST

Firming credit quality and special gains helped fuel a 34% quarterly earnings increase to $35.4 million at Chicago-based Harris Bankcorp, a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal.

Harris' return on assets soared to 1.07% from 0.99% in the first quarter and 0.77% a year ago.

The company's loss provision of $15.3 million was flat with the first quarter but down 29% from a year ago. Harris said that it recaptured $16 million from a special reserve previously set aside.

Harris booked securities gains of $6.9 million during the quarter compared with $128,000 of such gains a year ago. Its foreign exchange income leaped 136% to $7.8 million, while it recorded $800,000 of bond trading profits, reversing a year-ago trading loss of $3.1 million.

Harris' net interest margin of 4.02% fell 21 basis points from the first quarter and 14 basis points from a year ago. Period-end problem assets totaled $141.9 million, or 1.9% of gross loans - up slightly from the first quarter but down 23% from a year ago.

Separately, Michigan National Corp. late Wednesday posted a second-quarter profit of $16.1 million, a 16.15% decline from last year's quarter. Its return on assets of 0.62% was down from 0.71% in the year-earlier period.

The company, based in Farmington Hills, Mich., said heavy mortgage refinancings forced it to accelerate amortization of purchased mortgage servicing rights to $21.6 million from $6.8 million one year earlier. It was the second straight quarter in which the company, which has $10.5 billion of assets, suffered from the refinancing trend. Michigan National posted a loss of $44.8 million in the first quarter.

-- Steve Klinkerman

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