Park National Corporation Reports First Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Continues $0.94 Quarterly Dividend

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

NEWARK, Ohio, April 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park National Corporation (Park) (NYSE Amex:PRK) today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2011 (first quarter). Also, Park's board of directors approved a $0.94 per common share quarterly cash dividend, payable on June 10, 2011 to common shareholders of record as of May 25, 2011.

Net income for the first quarter of 2011 was $21.4 million, an increase from the $20.8 million in net income for the same period in 2010. Net income per diluted common share was $1.29, a 0.8 percent decline from the $1.30 net income per diluted common share reported in the first quarter of 2010.

Net income for the periods ended March 31, 2011 and 2010 included pre-tax gains of $6.6 million and $8.3 million, respectively, from the sale of investment securities. Excluding these gains, net income for the first quarter of 2011 was $17.1 million or $1.01 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $15.4 million or $0.94 per diluted common share in 2010, which represented a 7.4 percent increase in net income per diluted common share.

"With national and regional economic conditions showing modest improvement, we are very pleased with this year's first quarter results," said Park Chairman C. Daniel DeLawder. "Our Ohio-based operations continue to perform at very strong levels driven largely by the consistent delivery of superior levels of customer service."

Ohio-Based Operations

Park's Ohio-based operations reported net income of $29.0 million for the first quarter of 2011, compared to net income of $28.2 million for the same period in 2010. Park's Ohio-based operations had total assets of $6.5 billion at March 31, 2011, compared to $6.3 billion at March 31, 2010. This performance resulted in return on assets of 1.82 percent and 1.85 percent for Park's Ohio-based operations in the first quarter of 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Credit Quality

Total nonperforming loans (including loans past due 90 days and still accruing) were $281.3 million at March 31, 2011, a 4.0 percent decline from the $292.9 million in nonperforming loans at December 31, 2010. Net loan charge-offs for the first quarter of 2011 were $8.0 million, or an annualized 0.69 percent of average loans outstanding. Net loan charge-offs in the first quarter of 2010 were $13.6 million, or an annualized 1.19 percent of average loans.

Park's loan loss provision for the first quarter of 2011 was $13.5 million, compared to $16.6 million for the same period in 2010. Of the $13.5 million loan loss provision recorded in the first quarter of 2011, $8.0 million was recorded at Vision Bank, with the remaining $5.5 million recorded within Park's Ohio-based operations. Park's allowance for loan losses increased by $5.5 million during the first quarter of 2011, ending the period at $126.9 million or 2.67 percent of period-end loans.

Headquartered in Newark, Ohio, Park National Corporation has $7.3 billion in total assets (as of March 31, 2011). Park consists of 13 community bank divisions and two specialty finance companies. Park's Ohio-based banking operations are conducted through Park subsidiary The Park National Bank and its divisions which include Fairfield National Bank Division, Richland Bank Division, Century National Bank Division, First-Knox National Bank Division, Farmers & Savings Bank Division, United Bank Division, Second National Bank Division, Security National Bank Division, Unity National Bank Division, The Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky Division and Scope Leasing, Inc. (d.b.a. Scope Aircraft Finance). Park's other banking subsidiary is Vision Bank (headquartered in Panama City, Florida), and its Vision Bank Division (of Gulf Shores, Alabama). Park also includes Guardian Financial Services Company (d.b.a. Guardian Finance Company).

Additional financial data listed below...

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995

This news release contains forward-looking statements that are provided to assist in the understanding of anticipated future financial performance. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not guarantees of future performance. The forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, without limitation: deterioration in the asset value of Park's loan portfolio may be worse than expected due to a number of factors, such as adverse changes in economic conditions that impair the ability of borrowers to repay their loans, the underlying value of the collateral could prove less valuable than assumed and cash flows may be worse than expected; Park's ability to sell OREO properties at prices as favorable as anticipated; Park's ability to execute its business plan successfully and within the expected timeframe; general economic and financial market conditions, and weakening in the economy, specifically the real estate market and credit market, either nationally or in the states in which Park and its subsidiaries do business, may be worse than expected which could decrease the demand for loan, deposit and other financial services and increase loan delinquencies and defaults; the effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; changes in market rates and prices may adversely impact the value of securities, loans, deposits and other financial instruments and the interest rate sensitivity of our consolidated balance sheet; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and saving habits; our liquidity requirements could be adversely affected by changes in our assets and liabilities; competitive factors among financial institutions increase significantly, including product and pricing pressures and our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified bank professionals; the nature, timing and effect of changes in banking regulations or other regulatory or legislative requirements affecting the respective businesses of Park and its subsidiaries, including changes in laws and regulations concerning taxes, accounting, banking, securities and other aspects of the financial services industry, specifically the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010; the effect of fiscal and governmental policies of the United States federal government; demand for loans in the respective market areas served by Park and its subsidiaries, and other risk factors relating to the banking industry as detailed from time to time in Park's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission including those described in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of Part I of Park's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Park does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions that may be made to update any forward-looking statement to reflect the events or circumstances after the date on which the forward-looking statement is made, or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except to the extent required by law.

CONTACT: Media contacts: Bethany Lewis 740.349.0421 blewis@parknationalbank.com John Kozak 740.349.3792