WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) _ Wachovia Corp. reported a 5.3 percent increase in per-share profits for the third quarter, the result of revenue growth tempered by spending for advertising and computer conversions.

Wachovia said its per share earnings were $1.03 this year compared to 97 cents a year ago. Net income for the first nine months of the year totaled $496 million, up 4.7 percent from $473.8 million a year ago.

L.M. Baker Jr, chief executive officer, said the company had 6.8 percent growth in loans, investment income, credit card income and fees from trust services during the quarter.

Gains were offset by spending for salaries, computer programming and consulting services for the year 2000 conversion work as well as advertising for Wachovia's brand recognition campaign.