FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 1996size = +1>
BELL ATLANTIC INCREASES DIVIDEND
Philadelphia -- The board of directors of Bell Atlantic
(NYSE: BEL) today declared an increase in the quarterly dividend that
will result in a total payment on May 1, 1996, of $.72 per outstanding
common share to shareowners of record on April 10, 1996.
Bell Atlantic has raised its dividend in each of the 12 years since
its formation. The company has approximately 911,000 registered
shareowners and approximately 438 million shares of common stock
"Dividend growth is a key component to providing attractive returns
our owners," said Bell Atlantic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Raymond W. Smith. "This quarter's increase reflects record earnings
growth in 1995 and excellent prospects for 1996 and beyond. With
exciting new market opportunities resulting from recently enacted
legislation, we face a very bright future."
The total payment of $.72 includes a one-time payment of $.005 for
the redemption of rights issued under Bell Atlantic's Shareholder
Rights Plan, adopted in 1989. Responding to shareowner proposals, the
board ordered the redemption of the rights on January 23, 1996,
concluding that the plan was no longer needed.
The board currently expects per-share dividend payments for the
remainder of 1996 to be $.72 per quarter. Final amounts declared,
however, will be based on the board's consideration of all relevant
factors consistent with established dividend policy.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
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