Wednesday, October 20, 1999


BancWest earnings
increase 45.3%

Sans charges from the
First Hawaiian merger,
it would have garnered
an 86% increase

By Russ Lynch


BancWest Corp., parent of First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West, had a net profit of $36.9 million in its third quarter, up 45.3 percent from a net of $25.4 million a year earlier.

Net earnings per share were Info Boxdown 16.9 percent at 59 cents in the latest quarter compared with 71 cents in the 1998 period. The company said per-share income was reduced by the merger and restructuring costs.

Chairman Walter A. Dods Jr. said yesterday that because of one-time charges and special accounting from the November 1998 merger with Bank of the West that created BancWest, the net figure is not the best way of judging the company's performance.

Leaving out one-time merger and restructuring charges, BancWest had a third-quarter net profit from operations of $47.1 million in the latest quarter, up 86 percent from $25.4 million in the 1998 quarter, he said.

On the same basis, earnings per share in the latest quarter came to 76 cents, up 7 percent from 71 cents in the year-earlier period, he said.

The quarterly report also restated previous data to include numbers from Sierra West Bank, which BancWest acquired in July. Because the acquisition was accounted for as a pooling of interests, BancWest's reports now treat that operation as if it had been owned by BancWest all along.

BancWest had strong operating and cash earnings, both on the West Coast and in Hawaii, during the latest quarter, Dods said. Net income from the mainland operations -- including the activities of Bank of the West and Sierra West as well as mainland lending by First Hawaiian Bank -- was up 19 percent from last year's quarter, he said.

The beginning of a rebound in the Hawaii economy after eight years of stagnation helped boost BancWest's net income from its Hawaii operations by 8 percent compared to the year-earlier quarter, Dods said.

BancWest ended the quarter with total assets of $16.7 billion, up 86 percent from $9 billion a year ago, before the merger with Bank of the West. Total deposits on Sept. 30 were $13 billion, up 86 percent from $7 billion a year earlier. Loans of $12.3 billion were up 78 percent from $6.9 billion.

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