RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 25, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA) reports earnings for the quarter ending September 30, 2010, of $27.7 million, compared to $82.5 million for the corresponding period of 2009, according to Frank B. Holding Jr., chairman of the board. Net income for the third quarter of 2010 declined $54.7 million, or 66.4 percent, from the same quarter of 2009. Per share income for the third quarter 2010 totaled $2.66, compared to $7.90 for the same period a year ago. The decline primarily results from significant acquisition gains reported during the third quarter of 2009 that resulted from two FDIC-assisted transactions. The 2009 acquisition gains represented $63.5 million after tax, or $6.09 per share. 

First Citizens' current quarter results generated an annualized return on average assets of 0.52 percent and an annualized return on average equity of 6.46 percent, compared to respective returns of 1.83 percent and 22.45 percent for the same period of 2009.

The comparability of BancShares' results of operations for the third quarter of 2010 is affected by the FDIC-assisted transactions, due to the acquisition gains and post-acquisition transactions related to acquired loans and assumed deposits, which impact net interest income, provision for loan and lease losses, noninterest income and noninterest expense. Allowances are established through the provision for loan and lease losses on acquired loans as deterioration in credit quality is identified. For loans covered under loss share agreements, the estimated recoverable portion of any deterioration is recognized as an adjustment to the FDIC receivable with an offset to noninterest income. Additionally, fair value discounts are accreted into income over the estimated life of the loans, with accelerated accretion recognized if repayments occur sooner than the original estimates.  

Third quarter net interest income increased $94.7 million, or 70.0 percent, from the same period of 2009, due to an increase in interest-earning assets and the accretion of fair value discounts. Average interest-earning assets increased $2.74 billion, or 17.3 percent, due to assets acquired through the 2010 FDIC-assisted transactions. Large unscheduled loan payments received through the third quarter 2010 resulted in $74.9 million of fair value discount accretion, which increased interest income. The taxable-equivalent net yield on interest-earning assets increased 152 basis points when compared to the third quarter of 2009, primarily due to reduced deposit costs and the favorable impact of acquired loans and assumed deposits, including the impact of fair value discounts accreted into income during the third quarter of 2010.