California Financial Holding Co. reported second quarter earnings of $2.9 million, up from a net loss of nearly $800,000 the year before.

Net income for the first half of 1996 climbed to a record $5.15 million, compared with just $39,000 for the corresponding period in 1995.

"Not only was this our best six months ever, but the quality of earnings has greatly increased," said Robert V. Kavanaugh, chief operating officer. "Solid asset growth and wider margins have led to a 25% increase in our core earnings over year-ago levels."

California Financial is parent of Stockton Savings Bank.

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