A growing national consumer credit business helped fuel a 13% second- quarter earnings increase at Barnett Banks Inc.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company earned $157 million in the second quarter, up from $139.5 million a year earlier. Earnings per share grew to 80 cents a share from 71 cents in the second quarter of 1996, meeting analysts' expectations.

For the first six months of 1997, Barnett, which has $44 billion in assets, reported net income of $302.7 million, up 5.2% from the year- earlier period. Earnings per share rose to $1.58 from $1.45.

Barnett is in the midst of undertaking an aggressive national growth strategy, using specialized consumer credit subsidiaries to expand into new markets. Company officials said growth on that front, as well as gains from a growing Florida banking franchise, fueled an 8% increase in revenues.

In a prepared statement, Barnett president Allen L. Lastinger r. said: "Credit quality remains excellent and our balance sheet strong. Barnett continues to work to develop new and better value propositions for our customers that will profitably meet more of their financial needs."

The revenue increase came despite the fact that second-quarter net interest income was down 4% to $458.9 million. The decline reflected interest expense for Barnett's newest subsidiary, Oxford Resources Corp., which Barnett bought on April 1.

Oxford-related revenue is reflected on the noninterest income side, where income, excluding securities transactions, was up 40% to $270.5 million, representing 37% of total revenues. Oxford contributed about $45.5 million.

In addition to gains from Oxford, an automobile leasing company that does business in 21 states, Barnett said revenues related to its Equicredit subsidiary doubled from a year ago to $48.6 million.

"In terms of adding profits, EquiCredit is a big factor," said Bob Stickler, a Barnett spokesman. "It continues to open new offices and show very, very solid growth."

Noninterest expense grew 8%, due in large part to Oxford, but Barnett's efficiency ratio improved slightly to 59%.

Net chargeoffs declined 9% from a year earlier to $36 million due to lower credit card-related losses and provision expense fell 8% to $36.2 million.

Richard X. Bove, an analyst with Raymond James & Associates, said that though the bottom-line numbers were strong, income from loans actually declined year over year when taking into account provisions.

"It's a good quarter, but all of the growth in earnings is coming from noninterest income businesses," he said. +++

Barnett Banks, Inc. Jacksonville, Fla. Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) Second Quarter 2Q97 2Q96 Net income $157.0 $139.5 Per share 0.80 0.71 ROA 1.44% 1.36% ROE 18.08% 16.92% Net interest margin 5.05% 5.30% Net interest income 458.9 480.3 Noninterest income 270.5 193.9 Noninterest expense 433.0 400.7 Loss provision 36.2 39.4 Net chargeoffs 36.0 39.4 Year to Date 1997 1996 Net income $302.7 $287.7 Per share 1.58 1.45 ROA 1.42% 1.40% ROE 18.66% 17.41% Net interest margin 5.16% 5.29% Net interest income 932.9 955.6 Noninterest income 486.2 390.5 Noninterest expense 848.8 808.3 Loss provision 67.9 81.0 Net chargeoffs 67.8 80.8 Balance Sheet 6/30/97 6/30/96 Assets $44,005.0 $41,674.0 Deposits 33,385.0 34,345.0 Loans 30,924.0 30,455.0 Reserve/nonp. loans 275% 263% Nonperf. loans/loans 0.57% 0.63% Nonperf. assets/assets 0.52% 0.60% Nonperf. assets/loans + OREO 0.73% 0.82% Leverage cap. ratio 7.56% 6.67% Tier 1 cap. ratio NA NA Tier 1+2 cap. ratio NA NA Popular Inc. San Juan Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) Second Quarter 2Q97 2Q96 Net income $51.1 $49.5 Per share 0.74 0.72 ROA 1.16% 1.16% ROE 16.03% 16.56% Net interest margin 4.56% 4.48% Net interest income 190.6 188.2 Noninterest income 55.4 50.7 Noninterest expense 152.1 131.8 Year to Date 1997 1996 Net income $100.6 $91.2 Per share 1.46 1.32 ROA 1.17% 1.16% ROE 16.17% 16.48% Balance Sheet 6/30/97 6/30/96 Assets $19,151.6 $16,442.1 Deposits 11,405.5 10,576.9 Loans 10,909.4 9,279.3

First Virginia Banks Inc. Falls Church Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) Second Quarter 2Q97 2Q96 Net income $31.4 $28.6 Per share 0.94 0.85 ROA 1.47% 1.40% ROE 13.74% 13.14% Net interest margin 5.23% 5.04% Net interest income 101.7 93.9 Noninterest income 25.0 25.1 Noninterest expense 73.4 69.8 Year to Date 1997 1996 Net income $60.8 $57.0 Per share 1.85 1.69 ROA 1.45% 1.40% ROE 13.54% 13.07% Balance Sheet 6/30/97 6/30/96 Assets $9,054.9 $8,113.0 Deposits 7,676.0 6,957.4

Loans 5,994.1 5,190.4

Southtrust Corp. Birmingham, Ala. Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) Second Quarter 2Q97 2Q96 Net income $75.4 $63.1 Per share 0.75 0.66 ROA 1.06% 1.10% ROE 16.01% 16.02% Net interest margin 3.97% 4.03% Net interest income 264.6 216.0 Noninterest income 64.0 61.3 Noninterest expense 182.2 156.2 Year to Date 1997 1996 Net income $146.3 $120.6 Per share 1.47 1.30 ROA 1.08% 1.10% ROE 16.00% 15.88% Balance Sheet 6/30/97 6/30/96 Assets $29,192.9 $23,614.7 Deposits 18,679.4 16,070.4 Loans 21,105.9 17,098.9 ===

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