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FIRST WESTERN BANCORP ANNOUNCES THREE-FOR-TWO STOCK SPLIT AND REGULAR QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND

 FIRST WESTERN BANCORP ANNOUNCES THREE-FOR-TWO STOCK SPLIT
 AND REGULAR QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND
 NEW CASTLE, Pa., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- At First Western Bancorp Inc.'s (NASDAQ: FWBI) board of directors meeting held today, the board approved a three-for-two common stock split, effected in the form of a 50 percent common stock dividend, with a record date of Jan. 28, 1992, and a pay date of Feb. 18, 1992. Each shareholder will receive one additional share for each two shares they presently hold, with fractions (if any) paid in cash at the average of the five days' last sale prices per NASDAQ prior to the ex-dividend date. There will be no change in the common stock par value which will remain at $5 per share.
 At the same time, the directors declared the normal cash quarterly dividend of $.275 per share with a record date of Jan. 28, 1992, and a pay date of Feb. 6, 1992. The cash dividend is considered to be of record before the stock dividend. After this quarter, the indicated annual rate of cash dividend will be restated from an effective annual rate of $1.10 per share to an effective annual rate of $.74 per share, or $.185 per quarter. Except for a slight increase due to rounding, this represents the same effective annual rate considering the additional shares distributed by the three-for-two common stock split.
 In a separate announcement today, First Western announced earnings per share of $3.20 for 1991, as compared to $2.87 for 1990, an increase of 11.5 percent and $.92 for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991, up from $.81 earned in the fourth quarter of 1990, an increase of 13.6 percent. These per share results have not been restated for the three- for-two stock split.
 In commenting on the stock split, Thomas J. O'Shane, president and chief executive officer of First Western stated, "The board was pleased to take this action today in reflection of the fact that our stock has enjoyed a better performance in the past six months than over the course of the last two years. During 1991, First Western's common stock increased 43.1 percent from $17.125 on Dec. 31, 1990, to $24.50 on Dec. 31, 1991. It has continued to increase in early 1992 to its present level in excess of $28 per share. The board believed that the earnings performance in 1991 of First Western, in a particularly difficult economic environment, along with the prospects for 1992, warranted this distribution. Total shares outstanding will increase to slightly less than 4 million shares after the distribution. These additional shares are expected to increase the marketability and liquidity of First Western's common stock."
 First Western Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in New Castle, is a $1.1 billion bank holding company, and is the parent of First National Bank of Western Pennsylvania, Beaver Trust Company, First Federal of Western Pennsylvania, and First Western Trust Services Company, with 39 branch banking offices located in seven western Pennsylvania counties and one county in northeastern Ohio.
 -0- 1/16/92
 /CONTACT: Robert H. Young, senior vice president-finance, secretary and treasurer, or Linda M. Spinelli of First Western Bancorp, 412-652-8550, ext. 317/
 (FWBI) CO: First Western Bancorp, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: DIV


PS -- NY105 -- 0808 01/16/92 23:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 16, 1992
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