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Wachovia Boosts 2Q Earnings to $1B

July 17, 2003

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Wachovia Corp. boosted second-quarter profits by 17 percent to $1.03 billion on the strength of its consumer and small-business markets, the country’s fifth-largest bank said Thursday.

Earnings per share were 77 cents in the April-June period. A year earlier, were $849 million, or 62 cents a share.

Excluding merger and restructuring charges, earnings in the second quarter were 81 cents a share _ above the 77 cent projected by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call. A year earlier, earnings excluding merger chargers were 68 cents.

Like Citigroup and Bank One, Wachovia announced an increase in its dividend. The bank said the dividend on its common stock would rise to 35 cents a share from 29 cents, payable on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record on Aug. 29.

In morning trading, shares were up 17 cents at $41.46 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The bank said it enjoyed record results in consumer and small business loans, mutual funds, checking accounts and low-cost deposits accounts.

``On top of that, a continued strong showing in customer service, solid expense control and further merger savings ahead position us well for the future,″ chairman and chief executive officer Ken Thompson said.

Charge-offs for bad loans declined 55 percent from the second quarter of last year to $169 million, or .43 percent of average net loans. Total nonperforming assets, including loans held for sale, declined 13 percent to $1.8 billion.

Average core deposits increased 9 percent from the second quarter of 2002 to $179 billion.

Wachovia Corp., created through the 2001 merger of First Union and the old Wachovia, has assets of $364 billion and branches in 11 states and Washington, D.C. The Charlotte-based company completed its merger with Prudential Financial Inc.’s retail brokerage operations on July 1.

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