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FIRST SECURITY POSTS RECORD YEAR

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Salt Lake-based financial services company First Security Corp. Wednesday reported record 1993 net income of $125.18 million.

"1993 was the most profitable year in First Security's 65-year history and the seventh straight year in which its earnings have increased," said Spencer F. Eccles chairman and chief executive officer.He cited continued strong growth in interest-earning assets, a "significant" reduction in the provision for loan losses, lower cost of funds and higher noninterest income, for boosting net income.

The income figure excludes one-time merger-related charges of $11.12 million from First Security's acquisition last year of First National Financial Corp. of Albuquerque, N.M.

Net income for 1993, including the First National merger charges, was also a record $114.06 million for 1993, up $13.71 million or 13.7 percent from 1992's earnings of $100.34 million.

A spokesman said '93 net income, excluding the First National merger charges, generated a 1.36 percent return on average assets and a 15.97 percent return on average equity for 1993, up from 1.18 percent and 14.75 percent, respectively, in 1992.

Net income per share, excluding the First National merger charges, was $2.61 for 1993, up 45 cents or 20.8 percent from 1992.

First Security's total assets passed the $10 billion dollar mark for the first time in 1993, totaling $10.21 billion on Dec. 31.

Fourth quarter net income, excluding the First National merger charges of $11.12 million, was $32.19 million, up 18.7 percent over the same period a year earlier.

Net income per share, excluding the charges, was 66 cents, up 13.8 percent from 58 cents a year ago.

Nonperforming assets were reduced to $52.82 million at year end, down 50.8 percent from the prior year. Nonperforming assets equaled 0.80 percent of total loans and "other real estate owned", down from 1.90 percent at year-end 1992.

Stockholders' equity in FSC increased to $835.73 million in '93, up $116.12 16.1 percent, due primarily to the record earnings, combined with the effects of acquisitions.