RALEIGH, N.C., July 26, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA) reports earnings for the quarter ending June 30, 2010, of $28.6 million, compared to $6.2 million for the corresponding period of 2009, according to Frank B. Holding, Jr., chairman of the board. The increase in net income during 2010 was the result of higher net interest income and noninterest income, offset by a higher provision for loan and lease losses and noninterest expense. 

Per share income for the second quarter 2010 totaled $2.74, compared to $0.59 for the same period a year ago. First Citizens' current quarter results generated an annualized return on average assets of 0.54 percent and an annualized return on average equity of 6.83 percent, compared to respective returns of 0.14 percent and 1.73 percent for the same period of 2009.

Second quarter net interest income increased $47.8 million, or 40.9 percent, from the same period of 2009, due to a 52 basis point increase in the net yield on interest-earning assets and significantly higher average interest-earning assets. The taxable-equivalent net yield on interest-earning assets improved in each of the past four quarters, primarily due to favorable changes in deposit costs and the positive impact of acquired loans and assumed deposits from FDIC-assisted transactions. 

Interest-earning assets averaged $18.8 billion during the second quarter of 2010, an increase of $3.05 billion over the second quarter of 2009, due to growth in loans and investment securities. Average loans outstanding increased $2.58 billion, or 22.2 percent, since the second quarter of 2009. As a result of higher loan yields, the taxable-equivalent yield on interest-earning assets grew 7 basis points from 4.59 percent during the second quarter of 2009 to 4.66 percent during the second quarter of 2010.  

Average interest-bearing liabilities increased by $2.76 billion, or 21.5 percent, during the second quarter of 2010, due to higher levels of deposits, partially offset by lower short-term borrowings. The large deposit increase was caused by strong growth in legacy markets as well as the impact of assumed deposits. The rate on interest-bearing liabilities decreased 52 basis points from 1.87 percent during the second quarter of 2009 to 1.35 percent during the same period of 2010.

The provision for loan and lease losses equaled $31.8 million during the second quarter of 2010, an $11.1 million, or 53.3 percent, increase over the same period of 2009. The higher provision for loan and lease losses resulted principally from allowance adjustments related to post-acquisition deterioration of acquired loans covered by loss-share agreements with the FDIC. Exclusive of losses related to loans covered under loss-share agreements with the FDIC, net charge-offs declined to $12.6 million during the second quarter of 2010, compared to $20.8 million during the second quarter of 2009. On an annualized basis, net charge-offs of noncovered loans for the second quarter of 2010 represented 0.45 percent of average noncovered loans and leases, compared to 0.72 percent for the same period of 2009. 

Noninterest income totaled $92.6 million during the second quarter of 2010, a $21.2 million, or 29.7 percent, increase from 2009. Much of the increase results from post-acquisition adjustments to the FDIC receivable for the recoverable portion of post-acquisition deterioration in covered loans and other real estate. Significant increases were noted in Wealth Management Services and cardholder and merchant services, all of which relate to modest improvements in economic conditions. 

Noninterest expense equaled $181.8 million during the second quarter of 2010, up $22.7 million, or 14.2 percent. Salary expense increased $10.7 million, or 16.8 percent, for the quarter due to new associates resulting from the FDIC-assisted transactions. Occupancy expense increased $2.5 million due to the acquired bank buildings. FDIC deposit insurance decreased $7.2 million, or 52.0 percent, during the second quarter of 2010, when compared to the same period of 2009 that included a $7.8 million special assessment. 

For the six-month period ending June 30, 2010, net income equaled $133.2 million, or $12.76 per share, compared to $14.9 million, or $1.42 per share, earned during the same period of 2009. Annualized net income as a percentage of average assets was 1.31 percent during 2010, compared to 0.18 percent during 2009. The annualized return on average equity was 16.46 percent for the first six months of 2010, compared to 2.09 percent for the same period of 2009. The increase in net income during 2010 resulted primarily from the FDIC-assisted transactions involving First Regional Bank and Sun American Bank completed during the first quarter of 2010.   

Year-to-date net interest income increased $83.1 million, or 35.7 percent, during 2010. Average interest-earning assets grew $2.55 billion, or 16.4 percent. Average loans and leases increased $2.31 billion, or 20.0 percent, during the first half of 2010. The taxable-equivalent net yield on interest-earning assets increased 49 basis points to 3.54 percent during 2010, versus 3.05 percent recorded during the comparable period of 2009. Balance sheet growth resulting from the FDIC-assisted transactions was largely responsible for the higher level of interest-earning assets and the significant improvement in the net yield on interest-earning assets. 

The provision for loan and lease losses totaled $48.8 million for the first six months of 2010, compared to $39.5 million during 2009, a $9.3 million increase. Net charge-offs of noncovered loans totaled $26.2 million in 2010, down $8.6 million from 2009. Year-to-date net charge-offs of noncovered loans represented 0.45 percent of average noncovered loans and leases for 2010, compared to 0.60 percent for 2009. 

Exclusive of the $132.6 million acquisition gains, noninterest income increased $27.5 million during the first six months of 2010. For 2010, noninterest income includes $15.5 million in adjustments to the FDIC receivable for the recoverable portion of estimated losses on covered assets. Cardholder and merchant services income increased $6.7 million, or 14.7 percent, while Wealth Management Services increased $3.7 million, or 16.6 percent, due to higher asset balances. These increases were offset by a $2.5 million reduction in mortgage income. 

Noninterest expense increased $41.1 million, or 13.1 percent, during the first six months of 2010. Noninterest expense of the new branches resulting from the FDIC-assisted transactions totaled $40.4 million. Salary expense increased $17.3 million, or 13.4 percent, while occupancy expense increased $5.0 million, or 15.9 percent, during 2010. Equipment expense increased $2.9 million, or 10.0 percent. Partially offsetting these increases was a $6.5 million reduction in FDIC deposit insurance due to the absence of the special assessment recognized during the second quarter of 2009.   

As of June 30, 2010, First Citizens BancShares had total assets of $21.1 billion. BancShares' banking subsidiaries, First Citizens Bank and IronStone Bank, provide a broad range of financial services to individuals, businesses, professionals and the medical community through a network of 443 branch offices, telephone banking, online banking and ATMs. For more information, visit First Citizens' Web site at firstcitizens.com.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements. A discussion of factors that could cause First Citizens' actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements is included in First Citizens' filings with the SEC.
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
  Three Months Ended June 30 Six Months Ended June 30
(thousands, except share data; unaudited) 2010 2009 2010 2009
Interest income  $ 217,435  $ 176,841  $ 418,135  $ 356,493
Interest expense  52,573  59,809  102,237  123,656
Net interest income  164,862  117,032  315,898  232,837
Provision for loan and lease losses  31,826  20,759  48,756  39,482
Net interest income after provision for loan and lease losses  133,036  96,273  267,142  193,355
Gain on acquisitions  --   --   132,623  -- 
Other noninterest income  92,622  71,416  168,571  141,108
Noninterest expense  181,776  159,120  354,726  313,613
Income before income taxes  43,882  8,569  213,610  20,850
Income taxes  15,280  2,369  80,452  5,987
Net income  $ 28,602  $ 6,200  $ 133,158  $ 14,863
Taxable-equivalent net interest income  $ 165,937  $ 118,350  $ 318,013  $ 235,575
Net income per share  $ 2.74  $ 0.59  $ 12.76  $ 1.42
Cash dividends per share  0.30  0.30 0.60 0.60
Profitability Information (annualized)        
Return on average assets 0.54% 0.14% 1.31% 0.18%
Return on average equity 6.83 1.73 16.46 2.09
Taxable-equivalent net yield on interest-earning assets  3.54 3.02 3.54 3.05
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(thousands, except share data; unaudited)   June 30 2010 December 31 2009 June 30 2009
Assets        
Cash and due from banks    $ 625,857  $ 480,242  $ 637,896
Investment securities   3,771,861 2,932,765  3,749,525
Loans covered by FDIC loss share agreements   2,367,090 1,173,020  -- 
Loans and leases not covered by FDIC loss share agreements   11,622,494 11,644,999  11,523,045
Allowance for loan and lease losses   (188,169) (172,282)  (162,282)
Receivable from FDIC for loss share agreements   692,242 249,842  -- 
Other assets   2,214,394 2,157,477  1,569,696
Total assets    $ 21,105,769  $ 18,466,063  $ 17,317,880
Liabilities and shareholders' equity        
Deposits    $ 17,787,241  $ 15,337,567  $ 14,358,149
Other liabilities   1,625,219 1,569,381 1,525,518
Shareholders' equity   1,693,309 1,559,115 1,434,213
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity    $ 21,105,769  $ 18,466,063  $ 17,317,880
Book value per share    $ 162.28 $149.42  $ 137.45
Tangible book value per share   151.21  138.98 127.32
SELECTED AVERAGE BALANCES
  Three Months Ended June 30 Six Months Ended June 30
(thousands, except shares outstanding; unaudited) 2010 2009 2010 2009
Total assets  $ 21,222,673  $ 17,309,656  $ 20,550,439  $ 17,128,427
Investment securities  3,732,320  3,578,604  3,398,135  3,413,655
Loans and leases  14,202,809  11,621,450  13,953,897  11,640,555
Interest-earning assets  18,778,108  15,725,319  18,103,265  15,550,310
Deposits  17,881,444  14,316,103  17,232,348  14,107,973
Interest-bearing liabilities  15,598,726  12,840,612  15,099,410  12,719,207
Shareholders' equity  $ 1,679,837  $ 1,433,427  $ 1,631,756  $ 1,435,695
Shares outstanding  10,434,453  10,434,453  10,434,453  10,434,453
ASSET QUALITY
(dollars in thousands; unaudited)   June 30 2010 December 31 2009 June 30 2009
Nonaccrual loans covered by FDIC loss share agreements    $ 218,007  $ 116,446  $ -- 
Nonaccrual loans not covered by FDIC loss share agreements    73,179  58,417  63,756
Other real estate covered by FDIC loss share agreements    98,416  93,774  -- 
Other real estate not covered by FDIC loss share agreements    46,763 40,607  33,301
Allowance for loan and lease losses allocated to:        
Loans covered by FDIC loss share agreements    16,006  3,500  -- 
Loans not covered by FDIC loss share agreements    172,163  168,782  162,282
Ratio of allowance for loan and lease losses to loans and leases:        
Covered by FDIC loss share agreements    0.68%  0.30%  -- %
Not covered by FDIC loss share agreements    1.48  1.45  1.41
Net charge-offs of noncovered loans and leases, year-to-date    $ 26,192  $ 64,651  $ 34,769
Net charge-offs of noncovered loans to average noncovered loans and leases (annualized) 0.45% 0.56% 0.60%
CAPITAL INFORMATION
         
(dollars in thousands; unaudited)                                                                                          June 30 2010 December 31 2009 June 30 2009
Tier 1 capital    $ 1,878,251  $ 1,752,384  $ 1,659,778
Total capital    2,151,196  2,047,684  1,945,751
Risk-weighted assets    13,172,870  13,136,815  12,482,759
Tier 1 capital ratio   14.26% 13.34% 13.30%
Total capital ratio   16.33 15.59 15.59
Leverage capital ratio   8.90 9.54 9.68
CONTACT:  First Citizens BancShares, Inc.          Barbara Thompson          (919) 716-2716

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