NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) today declared a quarterly dividend of $.385 per outstanding share. The dividend, which is unchanged from the previous quarter, will be payable on Nov. 2, 1998, to shareowners of record on Oct. 9, 1998. The dividend reflects the 2-for-1 stock split of Bell Atlantic common shares that was effective on June 29, 1998. Frederic V. Salerno, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, "The board has decided to defer consideration of a dividend increase at this time, after having declared two increases in 1997. We remain on target to achieve our double-digit earnings-growth objective for this year, and we intend to continue to create shareowner value by achieving higher revenue growth and continuing synergies from the Bell Atlantic-NYNEX merger." In a separate action, the board authorized management to repurchase shares from time to time for various purposes, including the satisfaction of employee compensation plans. The board action permits the repurchase of up to $1.4 billion of company shares for the two-year period beginning Oct. 1, 1998, and continues the authority to repurchase up to approximately $200 million remaining under a previous $1 billion share repurchase authorization that took effect Jan. 1, 1998. The amount and timing of share repurchases will depend on market conditions. The company said that, as previously announced, the number of shares to be repurchased will not exceed limits under pooling-of-interests accounting rules. As a result, the board continued to limit aggregate share repurchases from Aug. 14, 1997, the date of the Bell Atlantic-NYNEX merger, to 66 million shares on a post-split basis. Bell Atlantic has approximately 1.1 million registered shareowners and approximately 1.55 billion shares of common stock outstanding. Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -- is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than seven million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries. INTERNET USERS: Bell Atlantic news releases, executive speeches, news media contacts and other useful information are available at Bell Atlantic's News Center on the World Wide Web (http://www.ba.com). To receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for personalized automatic delivery of Bell Atlantic news releases.
SOURCE Bell Atlantic Corp.