Operating profits of American Security Corp. rose slightly in the second quarter and by 6 percent for the first six months of 1978, the Washington banking company reported yesterday.

Not counting gains or losses from selling securities, second-quarter profits were $4.29 million ($1.17 a share) compared with $4.19 million ($1.15) in the same period last year. Net income was $4.29 million ($1.17) va. $4.22 million ($1.16).

The holding company for American Security Bank of Washington said first-half operating profits totaled $8.7 million ($2.39) compared with $8.2 million ($2.26) a year earlier. With gains from securities sales. American Security's net income was $8.7 million ($2.39) vs $8.6 million ($2.37).

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According to American Security Chairman Carleton Stewart, the first-half gain was due in large part to loan volume averaging more than $260 million higher than in the same period last year.

"Considerable growth in our domestic loan portfolio occurred toward the end of the first half," he said. Reflecting an aggressive national and regional corporate loan sales effort and local consumer loan "sales," American Security personal loans rose 40 percent and corporate loan volume increased 66 percent as of June 30 compared with 12 months earlier.

International loan volume, which rose strongly in the second half last year, increased at a more modest pace in the recent six months.

Metropolitan Federal Savings & Loan Association of Bethesda, reported a 47 percent increase in second-quarter profits to $542.157 from $368.037 a year earlier. That brought six-month earnings to $1.09 million ($2.57 a share compared with $729.467 ($1.82).

President Jessie Hilderbrand said assets of the stockholder-owned thrift institution totaled $229.5 million on June 30 up 9 percent from the end of 1977. Mortgage loan volume rose 8.6 percent to $203 million.

A cash payout of 12 1/2 cents a share was declared payable July 12 to stockholders of record June 30.

Smith's Transfer Corp., a Staunton firm that is among the nation's 10 largest trucking companies, reported a sharp rebound in profits during the second quarter. Net income was $3 million ($1.18 a share) compared with $2.5 million ($1.01) a year ago and earnings of 7 cents a share in the weather-affected first quarter of 1978. Second-quarter revenues rose to $59 million from $45 million last year.

Reflecting the week first period, Smith's profits for the six months ended June 17 dipped to $3.1 million ($1.25) from $4 million ($1.58). The recent six months includes earnings of $835.000 (33 cents) from the sale of assets compared with similar gains last year of $574,000 (23 cents).