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PROVIDENT BANKSHARES REPORTS HIGHER EARNINGS, INCREASES DIVIDEND

 BALTIMORE, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of Provident Bankshares Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: PBKS) today announced a 154 percent increase in the corporation's fourth-quarter earnings and a 20 percent increase in the quarterly cash dividend.
 Net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, was $1.6 million, or $.25 per share, compared to $626,000 or $.10 per share, for the fourth quarter of the prior year.
 The higher earnings in 1992 were due to a 45 percent increase in net interest income, increased mortgage banking income and a lower provision for loan losses. These were partially offset by a reduction in securities gains and an increase in operating expenses. The increases in mortgage banking income and operating expenses are primarily attributable to the third quarter acquisition of Consolidated Mortgage Corporation. Net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, was $4.2 million, or 45 percent higher than the $2.9 million earned in 1991.
 Non-performing assets were $15.7 million, a decline of 54 percent or $18.5 million from Dec. 31, 1991. The allowance for loan losses increased to $20.0 million, or 140 percent of non-performing loans and loans past due 90 days or more.
 Total loans increased 16 percent to $711 million at Dec. 31, 1992, and total deposits increased 4 percent to $1.2 billion. The increase in loans was due to higher volume in the consumer loan portfolio. Assets totaled $1.63 billion compared to $1.55 billion at Dec. 31, 1991.
 Provident's total capital at the end of 1992 was $116 million, and the corporation's leverage ratio stood at 7.15 percent. The book value of the corporation was $18.95 per share of common stock outstanding as of Dec. 31, 1992.
 The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.06 per share which is payable on Feb. 12, 1993, to stockholders of record at the close of business Feb. 1.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Marcia Goldman, corporate communications (media), 410-576-2833, or Harold H. Johnson, chief financial officer (investment community), 410-576-2750, both of Provident Bankshares/
 (PBKS)


CO: Provident Bankshares Corporation ST: Maryland IN: FIN SU: ERN DIV

CC-LJ -- PH021 -- 6959 01/20/93 14:07 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
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