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Mercury S&L; Issues to Be Traded on Big Board

Predicting record profits this year, directors at Mercury Savings & Loan Assn. told shareholders that they plan to list the Huntington Beach institution’s common stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

The switch from the American Stock Exchange to the Big Board “will enhance the status of shareholders” by giving them greater liquidity and the prestige of trading on the main exchange, Leonard Shane, the S&L;'s chairman and chief executive, said Thursday.

The stock, which has been trading on the Amex for nine years, closed at $14.25 a share Friday, up 12.5 cents for the day. Shane said the S&L; already has preliminary approval from the NYSE for the switch, which should be completed in late July or early August.

Mercury posted a record net income of $11 million last year, more than twice the previous year’s earnings, and will record a “substantial” higher profit this year, he said.

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“In the absence of any severe change in the economic climate, we are well into a year that will break last year’s earnings records and produce more loans and volume of activity than we have ever recorded,” Shane told shareholders at the annual meeting Wednesday night.

Mercury, which has $2.2 billion in assets, also announced a 6% stock dividend, payable July 14 to stockholders of record on June 30. The dividend will boost the current 4.9 million shares to nearly 5.3 million.

The S&L; also replaced its Big Eight accounting firm of Touche Ross & Co. with Kenneth Leventhal & Co. in Los Angeles. Shane said Mercury executives were less compatible with new accountants assigned by Touche Ross in the past few years.


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