Wednesday, October 17, 2001

BancWest earnings
rise 12%

First Hawaiian's parent is still
waiting for BNP Paribas'
buyout to be finalized

By Rick Daysog

The parent of First Hawaiian Bank today reported a 12 percent increase in its third quarter profits, despite a sluggish regional economy wracked by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Art BancWest Corp. said it earned $63.6 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $56.8 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, BancWest reported fully diluted earnings of 50 cents, an 11.1 percent increase from third quarter 2000's 45 cents.

For the first nine months this year, the company reported a net income of $191.3 million, or $1.51 per share, up from $160.2 million, or $1.28 per share, in the year-earlier period.

"Considering the slowing of our regional economy, compounded by the fallout from the tragic events of Sept. 11, this is another remarkable quarter of growth at BancWest," said Walter Dods, BancWest's chairman and chief executive officer. "However, it's clear that the economic consequences of the terrorist attacks will adversely affect virtually all global economies in the near future."

The latest quarterly results are in line with Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by Nelson Information had forecasted BancWest's third quarter net at 49 cents per share.

BancWest's stock closed down 1 cent today at $34.93 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company -- parent of First Hawaiian Bank and the mainland's Bank of the West -- is in the process of being acquired by France-based BNP Paribas in a deal valued at $2.5 billion. BNP is waiting for approval from the Federal Reserve for its $35-a-share offer for the 55 percent of BancWest stock it doesn't already own.

BancWest -- whose shareholders recently approved the offer -- said the deal can be completed after a 15-day waiting period following the Fed approval.

During the latest quarter, BancWest said its net interest income rose 11.4 percent to $195.5 million due to increased lending and leasing activity on the West Coast. Noninterest income, including revenues from trust and investment services and other fees, jumped nearly 14 percent to $61.1 million.

BancWest said its total assets at the end of the latest third quarter were $19.8 billion, up 9.9 percent. Loans were up 9.9 percent to $14.9 billion while deposits increased 6 percent to $14.7 billion.

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