Print Page | Close Window
News Release

Capital One Reports Record 1st Quarter Earnings

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (April 17, 1997) --- Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) today announced first quarter 1997 earnings of $42.5 million, or $.63 per share, versus earnings of $40.3 million, or $.60 per share, for the fourth quarter of 1996 and $38.0 million, or $.57 per share, for the comparable period in the prior year.

"This quarter demonstrated the power of our information-based strategy with continued growth in revenues and earnings in a period of continued worsening consumer credit and significant competitive challenges," said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The combination of our unique strategy and our conservatism has allowed us to continue to deliver record performance during a difficult period for the credit card business."

During the first quarter of 1997, the Company added 537,000 net new accounts, bringing total accounts to 9.1 million. Revenue, defined as managed net interest income and non-interest income, rose to $468 million in the first quarter of 1997 versus $437 million in the fourth quarter of 1996 and $309 million for the comparable period in the prior year, an increase of 52 percent. For the quarter, Capital One's managed consumer loan balances declined, as expected, by $197 million to $12.6 billion in outstanding receivables. This decline reflected the impact of marketing lower credit line products and the seasonal paydown of holiday spending.

The managed net interest margin increased to 8.83 percent in the first quarter of 1997 versus 8.29 percent in the fourth quarter of 1996 and 8.03 percent in the comparable period of the prior year. This increase primarily reflected a combination of loan repricings, the impacts of the slower growth of low introductory-rate loans and the continued shift in the product mix to higher-yielding products.

The managed net charge-off rate increased to 5.84 percent for the first quarter of 1997 compared with 5.11 percent in the fourth quarter of 1996. This increase was within expectations and is primarily related to the aging of the existing portfolio and recent increases in industry losses. The managed delinquency rate (over 30 days) increased modestly to 6.41 percent as of March 31, 1997, compared with 6.24 percent as of December 31, 1996.

"In managing our business, we are guided by a culture of conservatism that has served the Company well," said Nigel W. Morris, Capital One's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Our business approach ­ including strong capital and reserves, among the industry's lowest average credit limits, stringent credit underwriting and flexible products -- helps us weather adverse credit developments, as evidenced in these first quarter results."

Solicitation (marketing) expense increased in the first quarter of 1997 to $54.1 million versus $52.2 million in the fourth quarter of 1996 and $51.5 million in the comparable period of the prior year. Other non-interest expenses (excluding solicitation expense) for the first quarter of 1997 were $159.5 million versus $148.4 million for the fourth quarter of 1996 and $104.9 million in the comparable period of the prior year.

The allowance for loan losses was maintained at $118.5 million, and increased to 3.37 percent of on-balance sheet receivables as of March 31, 1997 from 2.73 percent as of December 31, 1996. Capital ratios were strong as of March 31, 1997 at 14.22 percent of reported assets and 5.86 percent of managed assets.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer financial products and services to consumers. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 9.1 million customers and $12.6 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 1997, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the United States.