Dime Bancorp, Astoria Financial Corp., and GreenPoint Financial Corp. all reported strong fourth-quarter and full-year operating earnings Thursday.

Dime of New York reported a 187% year-over-year increase in net income for the quarter, to $61.7 million, and a 95% increase for the year, to $237.1 million.

The company reported strong loan production in each of its units, said chief executive Lawrence J. Toal, especially mortgages.

Loan production totaled $32.7 billion in 1998, up sharply from $9.8 billion in 1997. Residential loan production of $9.6 billion for the quarter was up from $5.1 billion a year earlier.

Dime's regional bank and the company's nationwide mortgage unit, North American Mortgage Corp., "counterbalance each other," said Mr. Toal. Under the conditions prevalent last year, "the banking business does very well, while the mortgage business does not do so well," he explained.

Dime "had no disappointments," said Kenneth Posner, a Morgan Stanley analyst. It was "a really strong quarter."

"It's a real breath of fresh air to see a thrift that knows how to hedge its pipeline and servicing (against) the volatility of the fourth quarter," Mr. Posner added.

Astoria of Lake Success, N.Y., reported a $55.5 million loss for the quarter but a $45 million profit for the year, beating earnings estimates.

The thrift took a $100.3 million charge during the fourth quarter, $89.7 million of which was related to the purchase of Long Island Bancorp.

Without the nonrecurring charges, Astoria would have earned $44.8 million in the quarter, a 32% increase from a year earlier, and $145.4 million for the year.

"Our cost savings are well on track," said an Astoria spokesman.

The thrift also declared a 20% increase in its dividend, to 24 cents a share, payable March 1.

Astoria is going to continue to look for acquisitions in 1999, the spokesman said, once the thrift has put the finishing touches on its year- 2000 compliance program. "There was a bit of a hiatus as we integrated Long Island Bancorp," he said.

GreenPoint Financial of New York reported $33 million in net income for the quarter, and $154.7 million for the year.

In 1998, it bought Bank of America's manufactured housing business and said it would buy Headlands Mortgage. The Headlands deal will close this month.

"Our theme is to be the preeminent housing-related specialty finance company in the nation," said chief executive Thomas Johnson.

The thrift's no-documentation loan volume slumped 5%, to $2.7 billion for the year, but Mr. Johnson said GreenPoint is "building a lot of momentum. As a result of the actions we have taken, and what has happened to the liquidity of our so-called competitors, application volume has picked up dramatically." +++

Dime Bancorp New York Dollar amounts in millions (except per share) Fourth Quarter 4Q98 4Q97 Net income $62.0 $21.0 Per share 0.55 0.18 ROA 1.15% 0.40% ROE 18.17% 6.71% Net interest margin 2.78% 2.56% Net interest income 133.0 127.0 Noninterest income 145.0 58.0 Noninterest expense 179.0 141.0 Loss provision 8.0 8.0 Net chargeoffs 15.0 5.0 Year to Date 1998 1997 Net income $237.0 $122.0 Per share 2.06 1.12 ROA 1.11% 0.60% ROE 17.84% 11.04% Net interest margin 2.68% 2.51% Net interest income 527.0 483.0 Noninterest income 525.0 145.0 Noninterest expense 666.0 381.0 Loss provision 32.0 49.0 Net chargeoffs 32.0 64.0 Balance Sheet 12/31/98 12/31/97 Assets $22,321.0 $21,848.0 Deposits 13,651.0 13,847.0 Loans 12,643.0 12,880.0 Reserve/nonp. loans 190.67% 88.01% Nonperf. loans/loans 0.43% 0.92% Nonperf. assets/assets 0.37% 0.67% Nonperf. assets/loans + OREO 0.65% 1.13% Leverage cap. ratio 5.82%* 5.64% Tier 1 cap. ratio 9.58%* 10.29% Tier 1+2 cap. ratio 10.37%* 11.17%

* Estimated ===

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