Dime Bancorp and Marine Midland Inc. reported strong first-quarter earnings, but recent acquisitions made comparison with the year-earlier quarter difficult in both cases.

Meanwhile, Lake Success, N.Y.-based Astoria Financial Corp., with $6.1 billion of assets, posted net income of $11.6 million, a 6% gain.

Dime, which is based in New York, earned $22.3 million, compared with a pro forma $61.8 million loss in the first quarter of 1994. The current quarter is the first to reflect operating results following Dime's merger with Anchor Bancorp, another New York-based thrift.

Marine Midland, Buffalo, reported net income of $66 million, up 70%. The 1994 quarter was restated to include Concord Leasing, which Marine Midland acquired in January.

Dime, which has $19.7 billion of assets, received help in the current quarter from a net pretax gain of $9.4 million related to the sale of four Florida branches, which contributed about one-fourth of the thrift's 20 cents in earnings per share.

"Even without that, they still did reasonably well," said Smith Barney analyst Thomas O'Donnell. "The trick for Dime is to not disappoint investors."

Chairman and CEO James M. Large said Dime was "on track to realize the $50 million in cost savings by 1996 that we previously announced." He added that he was pleased with how the merger process was going, but cautioned that full consolidation "should be viewed as a yearlong project which is really just under way."

Mr. Large said commercial real estate and residential loan originations have been "somewhat disappointing," but that deposit levels held up well while recent residential mortgage applications and commitments "increased significantly."

Mr. Large also noted that Dime's nonperforming assets were reduced to $389.3 million at March 31, down $23.5 million from yearend. Nonperforming assets, which consist of nonaccrual loans and foreclosed real estate, amounted to 1.97% of total assets, while the reserve covered 50.6% of nonaccrual loans.

Marine Midland's first-quarter earnings gain reflected improved net interest income and lower operating expenses. President and CEO James H. Cleave said the bank's "core businesses continue to perform well, and productivity has improved significantly."

Marine Midland, which has $18.8 billion of assets, is an indirectly held, wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC.

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