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Westamerica Bancorporation Announces Stock Repurchase Plan.

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SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 26, 2001

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ: WABC), parent company of Westamerica Bank, today announced that its Board of Directors approved a plan to repurchase, as conditions warrant, up to 2.0 million shares of the Company's common stock on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The repurchase plan represents approximately 5.7% of the Company's currently outstanding common stock. This plan supercedes the 2.75 million-share stock repurchase program authorized in August 2000, of which 2.3 million shares have been repurchased to date. The duration of the program is open-ended and the timing of purchases will depend on market conditions.

Chairman, President, and CEO David Payne stated that this stock repurchase program is being implemented to provide management with an additional tool to optimize the Company's use of equity capital and enhance shareholder value. Westamerica's strong capital position and healthy allowance for loan losses supported the initiation of this new program.

Westamerica Bancorporation is the holding company for Westamerica Bank operating through 94 branches throughout 24 counties in Northern and Central California. At June 30, 2001, total assets were $3.9 billion and shareholders' equity was $318 million. Total common shares outstanding are approximately 35.1 million.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release includes forward-looking information which is subject to the safe harbor created by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1993, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements (which involve the Company's plans, beliefs and goals, refer to estimates or use similar terms) involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following factors: competitive pressure in the banking industry; changes in the interest rate environment; a potential decline in the health of the economy, either nationally or regionally; the deterioration of credit quality, which could cause an increase in the provision for possible loan and lease losses; changes in the regulatory environment; changes in business conditions, particularly in the California real estate market; certain operational risks involving date processing systems or fraud; volatility of rate sensitive deposits; asset/liability matching risks and liquidity risks; and changes in the securities markets. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements. For additional information concerning risks and uncertainties related to the Company and its operations please refer to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 26, 2001
Words:433
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