Fleet Financial Group Inc. said it expects to report second-quarter earnings of $70 million, or 44 cents a share.

The results, which are above analysts' average 38-cent estimate for the quarter, compare with $50 million in profits reported for the first quarter and $27.9 million in profits earned in the second quarter 1991.

The Providence, R.I.-based company, which was $45.2 billion in assets, said it was particularly encouraged because results at all its subsidiary banks showed improvement.

Nonperformers Decline

It also said that it wuld post the first sizable decline in non-performing assets.

Although the company said earnings would include a $50 million gain from the sale of securities, up from the $17 million one-time gain it took in the first quarter, it said it would partially offset that with a $30 million addition to its loss reserve above the planned $100 million in chargeoffs.

"The bulk of [the $70 million in second-quarter earnings] are core earnings, reflecting a strengthening of the bank's net interest margin," Fleet chairman and chief executive Terrence R. Murray told the Dow Jones news wire on Tuesday.

Specifically, Mr. Murray said margins rose 0.1% to 4.7% in the second quarter.

He also said that nonperforming assets would decline $50 million to $70 million in the quarter, or 3% to 4%. They were $1.6 billion at the end of the first quarter, after a decline of $8 million.

Mr. Murray said Fleet is still thinking about selling a portion of its mortgage subsidiary through an initial public offering. However, he said it would not be more than 19.9%.

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