SALT LAKE CITY - First Security Corp. reported 1994 profits Wednesday of $140.1 million, a 22.9% surge from the $114.1 million earned in 1993.

The $12 billion-asset bank also reported a 66% jump in fourth-quarter net income to $35 million. Fourth-quarter earnings in 1993 were depressed because of an $11.1 million restructuring charge associated with First Security's purchase of First National Financial Corp. of New Mexico.

Earnings for 1994 translated into a 1.26% return on assets for the Salt Lake City-based bank. Return on equity for the year amounted to 16.13%.

Higher net income in 1994 was due to a $101.7 million, or 19.8%, increase in interest and fees earned on the bank's loan portfolio. Similarly, noninterest earnings received a $23.7 million boost from fees earned mainly from the bank's CrossLand Mortgage Acquisition Corp. First Security purchased the Salt Lake City-based residential mortgage company in April.

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