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CORESTATES INCREASES DIVIDEND, SPLITS STOCK; DIRECTORS AUTHORIZE STOCK REPURCHASE

 PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The directors of CoreStates Financial Corp (NASDAQ: CSFN) today declared an increase in the regular quarterly dividend and a 2-for-1 stock split in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend.
 The directors also authorized a share repurchase program.
 The new quarterly cash dividend of 60 cents per (pre-split) share is payable on October 1, 1993 to shareholders of record on Sept. 7, 1993. The dividend rate had been 54 cents per share.
 The 100 percent stock dividend is payable on Oct. 15, 1993, to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.
 "These actions reflect the strength of our balance sheet and the board's confidence in our prospects and in the quality of our basic operating earnings," said Terrence A. Larsen, chairman.
 "We want the cash dividend to grow so that our shareholders receive an immediate share in the growth of our earnings, and we would like our shares to trade in a price range that many individual shareholders find attractive," he added. Prices between $20 to $40 per share are generally considered to be attractive to a large number of investors in bank stock.
 The stock repurchase plan authorizes management to purchase shares on the open market from time to time as market conditions make such investments attractive for shareholders, he said. The maximum number of shares that could be repurchased in a year would be 2 percent of the total outstanding. These purchases would be in addition to those made for issuance under the dividend reinvestment plan and under employee benefit and incentive compensation programs. CoreStates has 58.7 million pre-split shares outstanding.
 Larsen said that while the combination of actions would have immediate and direct benefits for shareholders, they would not impede the company's ability to grow internally or, if attractive opportunities are found, by acquisition.
 "We expect to be able to sustain internal growth rates at above industry norms from internal capital generation, and we will retain sufficient capital to support a substantial acquisition, should the occasion arise," he said.
 CoreStates last declared an increase in the quarterly dividend in November 1992, from 50 to 54 cents per share. The company has paid dividends continuously since 1844.
 The two-for-one split will be the company's third in 10 years. CoreStates issued 100 percent stock dividends on Oct. 17, 1983, and on Oct. 15, 1985.
 CoreStates reported record earnings of $1.42 per share for the second quarter of 1993, with a return on average assets of 1.46 percent and a return on average equity of 18.75 percent.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/17/93
 /CONTACT: Gregg Feistman or Linda Stryker of CoreStates Financial, 215-973-3546/
 (CSFN)


CO: CoreStates Financial Corp ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: DIV

MK -- PH003 -- 3459 08/17/93 10:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 17, 1993
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