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WILMINGTON TRUST ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS, DIVIDEND INCREASE, STOCK SPLIT AND STOCK BUYBACK PROGRAM

 WILMINGTON TRUST ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS, DIVIDEND
 INCREASE, STOCK SPLIT AND STOCK BUYBACK PROGRAM
 WILMINGTON, Del., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Wilmington Trust Corporation's (NASDAQ: WILM) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Taylor II announced a 9 percent increase in first quarter earnings, a 2-for-1 stock split, a 10 percent increase in the quarterly dividend and authorization of a stock buyback program.
 Earnings for the first quarter of 1992 reached $18 million, or $.95 a share, up 9 percent from $16.6 million, or $.88 a share, earned in the first quarter a year ago. Earnings for both periods include the results of Sussex Trust Company which was acquired on Jan. 29, 1992.
 Net interest income rose to $39 million for the quarter, 6 percent over the same period a year ago, as the result of a 4 percent increase in loan volume and a modest improvement in the net interest margin. Noninterest revenues of $26.2 million (excluding securities gains) ran 8 percent ahead of the same period last year, while the growth of operating expenses was held to 6 percent, or a total of $37.6 million. Earnings before taxes rose 13 percent, but a somewhat higher effective tax rate reduced the gain in net income to 9 percent.
 The level of the company's nonperforming assets declined during the first quarter -- from $61.2 million at year-end to $56.2 million on March 31, 1992, as did the level of loans past due 90 days or more -- from $17.1 million to $14.3 million over the same period.
 Taylor indicated that the stock split, the increased dividend and the share buyback program all reflect the board of director's confidence in the company's continued progress.
 The two-for-one stock split (which will take the form of a 100 percent stock dividend) will increase the number of common shares outstanding from approximately 19.1 million to 38.2 million. Taylor said the action is designed to make the market price of the company's shares more attractive to individual investors as well as larger institutional investors.
 Taylor also noted that this was the fourth two-for-one split of the company's shares since 1983, when only two million shares were outstanding.
 The company also increased its quarterly dividend by about 10 percent -- from $.41 to $.45 per share. Taylor noted that this marks the 11th consecutive year in which dividends have been increased -- raising the per share annual rate by more than five times over the period, from $.35 a share in 1981 to the current level of $1.80 a share.
 The 2 million share (on a post-split basis) stock buyback program authorized by the board of directors is one of the most tax-effective ways for a company with excess capital to enhance shareholder value. The program will help control the growth of the company's capital which, over the past five years, has increased an average of 16.6 percent annually. A previous stock buyback program, announced in 1989, has been cancelled. The repurchased shares will be held as treasury stock and may be reissued in connection with acquisitions, the exercise of stock options and other corporate purposes.
 Wilmington Trust Company, a Delaware-chartered bank with $4.3 billion in assets and 61 branches, is the principal subsidiary of Wilmington Trust Corporation.
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 The board of directors increased the quarterly cash dividend from $.41 to $.45 a share and declared a 100 percent stock dividend, payable May 15, 1992, to stockholders of record on May 1.
 WILMINGTON TRUST CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 (In thousands, except per share)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991 $ Change
 Net Income $18,038 $16,609 $1,429
 Net Income Per Share $.95 $.88 $.07
 Average Shares Outstanding 19,084 18,879 --
 Return on Assets (pct.) 1.71 1.65 --
 Return on Equity 19.47 20.50 --
 Average Stockholders' Equity
 to Assets 8.80 8.03 --
 As of March 31 1992 1991 $ Change
 Total Assets $4,314,391 $4,113,081 $201,310
 Total Deposits 3,263,474 3,390,982 (127,508)
 Total Loans 3,005,469 2,852,944 152,525
 Reserve For Loan Losses 45,983 43,254 2,729
 Net Loans 2,959,486 2,809,690 149,796
 Investment Securities 825,083 926,867 (101,784)
 Short-Term Investments 135,528 63,775 71,753
 Stockholders' Equity 384,323 334,186 50,137
 Book Value Per Share $20.13 $17.70 --
 Risk-Based Capital Ratio (pct.) 12.64 11.84 --
 Core Capital Ratio (pct.) 11.26 10.47 --
 Prior period numbers have been restated to reflect the acquisition of Sussex Trust Company under the pooling of interests method.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/16/92
 /CONTACT: Charles W. King of Wilmington Trust, 302-651-8069/
 (WILM) CO: Wilmington Trust Company ST: Delaware IN: FIN SU: ERN


KA -- PH017 -- 9269 04/16/92 11:57 EDT
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Date:Apr 16, 1992
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