First Hawaiian Inc. said it expects profit above earlier forecasts after it combines with Bank of the West, because merger-related accounting charges will be smaller than projected. First Hawaiian, Hawaii’s second-largest bank, now expects its $870-million merger with the Walnut-based unit of France’s Banque Nationale de Paris will decrease earnings 1% in 1999 and increase them 9.9% in 2000, to $2.95 and $3.45 a diluted share, respectively, Treasurer Howard Karr said in an interview. When it announced the transaction in May, the Honolulu-based bank said it expected the merger would trim its profit 7.4% in 1999 and add 3.9% in 2000, producing per-share earnings of $2.76 and $3.25. First Hawaiian shares fell 50 cents to close at $32 on Nasdaq. The merger has received approval from the Federal Reserve Board.
First Hawaiian Boosts Earnings Projections