Great Western

Profits at Beverly Hills-based Great Western Financial Corp. rose 21% in the fourth quarter compared to year-earlier results, while annual profits rose 27%, the S&L; holding company said.

An extraordinary gain of $8.4 million boosted quarterly earnings to $26 million from $21.4 million, the company said, and helped increase earnings to $94 million in 1984 from $73.7 million in 1983. The financial results in 1984 also reflect a full year's operation of two subsidiaries that Great Western acquired in the second half of the 1983.

The one-time gain of $8.4 million came from a change in federal tax law that resulted in a tax credit for one of those subsidiaries, Aristar Inc., a consumer-finance and life insurance company.

Great Western's assets stood at $23.5 billion at the end of 1984, an increase of 26% over the end of 1983. Shareholders equity during the same period rose to $25.64 a share from $24.19 a share. Great Western added 4.5 million shares of common stock in an offering in November that grossed $110 million.

Chairman James Montgomery said Great Western originated $5.7 billion in real estate loans in 1984 (including $983 million in the fourth quarter), almost all of which were either short-term or adjustable. That means 55% of Great Western's assets now have adjustable rates or were made on a short-term basis, the company said, leaving it far less vulnerable to interest-rate changes.

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