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CAROLINA FIRST REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS; NET INCOME UP 130 PERCENT; 5 PERCENT COMMON STOCK DIVIDEND DECLARED

 GREENVILLE, S.C., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Carolina First Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: CAFC) today reported that net income more than doubled in the first quarter of 1993 to $952,000, compared with $413,000 in the first quarter of 1992. Earnings per share, adjusted to reflect the 5 percent common stock dividend, were $.23 for the quarter compared with $.13 for the comparable period in 1992.
 Also today, the board of directors approved a 5 percent common stock dividend, to be issued on May 7, 1993, to common stock shareholders of record as of April 28, 1993. The common stock dividend will result in the issuance of approximately 150,000 common shares, bringing the total number of common shares outstanding to 3,154,000. This is the fifth consecutive year that Carolina First has issued a 5 percent common stock dividend.
 Mack I. Whittle, Jr., president and chief executive officer, said the common stock dividend "underscores the strong performance of the company in 1992 and the first quarter of 1993 and our confidence in the direction we are taking this organization.
 "The first quarter was an eventful three months for us. With our entry into the Columbia market in the first quarter, Carolina First became a statewide bank. We raised $14.5 million in new capital and acquired 13 branches, four of which are in Columbia, and opened a new branch in Mauldin.
 "While we probably will not maintain this level of activity every quarter, we will continue to aggressively seize opportunities to further our statewide expansion. At the same time we remain committed to offering our customers the very best products and services."
 Commenting on first quarter results, Whittle said, "the record earnings were attributable to Carolina First's continued focus on customer service and our ability to take advantage of growth opportunities in the State."
 At March 31, 1993, assets totalled $745 million, an increase of $287 million or 62 percent, over a year ago. Total stockholders' equity increased 85 percent to $60 million and included $14.5 million in new capital raised in March in a successful preferred stock offering.
 Loans increased 27 percent to $449 million compared with $353 million for the same quarter a year ago. Deposits were $659 million, up 62 percent from $407 million a year ago. Loans and deposits included $31 million and $205 million, respectively, which were acquired during the quarter through the acquisition of 15 branches from Republic National Bank.
 At its annual meeting of shareholders, shareholders today re-elected three directors. Re-elected to new three-year terms, expiring with the 1996 annual meeting of shareholders, were William S. Hummers, III, executive vice president, Carolina First Corporation and Carolina First Bank; Charles B. Schooler, chairman of the board of directors, Carolina First Savings Bank and doctor of optometry in Georgetown, S.C.; and William M. Webster, III, a partner in the development firm Carabo Capital in Greenville, S.C.
 Because the company's board of directors has staggered terms, six directors did not stand for re-election this year. They are: C. Claymon Grimes, Jr., formerly of counsel with The McNair Law Firm in its Georgetown, S.C., office; R. Glenn Hilliard, president and chief executive officer of ING US Life Companies and Security Life of Denver; Richard E. Ingram, chairman and chief executive officer, Builder Marts of America, Inc.; Elizabeth P. Stall, a private investor in Greenville, S.C.; William R. Timmons, Jr., chairman, Carolina First Corporation and chairman of Canal Insurance Company; and Mack I. Whittle, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Carolina First Corporation and chairman and chief executive officer of Carolina First Bank.
 Carolina First Corporation, headquartered in Greenville, offers a broad range of commercial and consumer financial services through two subsidiaries, Carolina First Bank and Carolina First Savings Bank. Carolina First Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank that operates 22 branches throughout South Carolina. Carolina First Savings Bank, headquartered in Georgetown, is a federally chartered savings bank with eight branches in coastal South Carolina.
 Carolina First's preferred stock trades over-the-counter under the symbols CAFCP and CAFCO. Market makers include J.C. Bradford & Co., Interstate/Johnson Lane Securities, The Robinson-Humphrey Company, Inc. and Wheat First Butcher and Singer.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: William S. Hummers, III, Carolina First Corporation, 803-255-7913/
 (CAFC)


CO: Carolina First Corporation; Carolina First Savings Bank ST: South Carolina IN: FIN SU: ERN DIV

CM-SB -- CH009 -- 5226 04/13/93 12:28 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1993
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