Bolstered by a record number of borrowers and a drop in the cost of obtaining money to loan them, Huntington Beach-based Mercury Savings & Loan Assn. posted record net income of $11 million last year, more than twice the $4.9 million in net earnings the previous year.
Profits for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, also more than doubled to $5 million from $2.2 million the previous year.
Mercury's results reflect the strong performance turned in by the savings industry as a whole last year.
With low interest rates and a rejuvenated real estate market fueling the boom, the 214 California S&Ls are expected to show total earnings of $1.1 billion for 1985, the first time the industry would go over the $1 billion mark in the state, said Kirk Hallahan of the California League of Savings Institutions.
One example of the industry's strength can be measured by the stock activity of Downey Savings & Loan Assn., which started out the year on the American Stock Exchange at $9.37 and ended it on the New York Stock Exchange at $41.87. That made Downey the second highest performing stock last year with a 346.7% rise in its price, according to Barron's, a weekly financial journal.