September 23, 1997
|Media contacts:||David Frail|
(NYSE:BEL) today declared the first dividend following its merger with NYNEX Corp., increasing the quarterly dividend 4.0 percent to $.77 per outstanding common share, an annual rate of $3.08.
This dividend increase is the second in 1997, and marks the 14th increase in 13 years. On March 25, an increase from $.72 to $.74 per share was declared.
"This dividend increase reflects our confidence in the long-term growth prospects of the new Bell Atlantic," said Bell Atlantic Chairman and CEO Ray Smith, "and in our ability to capitalize on the opportunities offered to us by the changes in our industry."
Smith also noted that, beginning in 1998, the board's regular consideration of possible dividend increases will take place in the third quarter of each year, for payment in November. The board's practice before the merger was to consider increases in the first quarter, for payment in May.
The increased dividend declared today will be payable on Nov. 3, 1997, to shareowners of record on Oct. 10, 1997. The company has approximately 1.3 million registered shareowners and approximately 776.7 million shares of common stock outstanding.
The increase was contemplated by the companies in their definitive merger agreement and communicated to shareowners in the Sept. 1996 merger proxy statement. In the merger,NYNEX shareowners received 0.768 of a share of Bell Atlantic common stock in exchange for each share of NYNEX common stock.
The new dividend payment is equivalent to what former NYNEX shareowners would have received from the NYNEX quarterly dividend of $.59 per share.
The new Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -- is at the forefront of the new communications, information and entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.5 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 21 countries.