| Provident Bankshares Corp. |
114 E. Lexington St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
Year founded: 1886
Net Income/Loss: $51.46 Million
Earnings per share: $2.05
Stockholder equity: $324.77 Million
Auditor: KPMG LLP
Assets: $5.21 Billion
Market capitalization: $746.72 Million
52-week high: 33.2 3/1/2004
52-week low: 23.45 4/14/2003
Chairman and CEO: Gary N. Geisel
President and COO: Kevin G. Byrnes
Local employees: 326
Description: Provident Bankshares is the holding company for Provident Bank, Maryland's third-largest financial institution. It operates 118 branches in Northern Virginia and the Baltimore and Washington suburbs in Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. About half are inside big-box retailers or supermarkets such as Shoppers Food Warehouse, Wal-Mart Stores and Super Fresh.
Developments: Provident is trying to spread its wings. The bank said in November it would buy Southern Financial Bancorp Inc. of Warrenton for $330 million. The deal would add 33 branches but most importantly, executives said, give Provident more access to Northern Virginia and the District. Breaking into the D.C. market has long been a goal of Provident. The acquisition gives it its first branch in the District, a Southern Financial office in Georgetown. Southern, which recently bought Essex Bancorp, now has branches as far south as Richmond and in the Norfolk area plus Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. The deal has met the regulatory hurdles but still must be approved by shareholders of Southern Financial and Provident in late April. Provident has specialized in consumer banking while Southern has been focused on business customers, an area Provident Bankshares has tried to enter. "It's a good marriage," said Lillian Kilroy, a spokeswoman for Provident. "It will give us a serious jumpstart on growth in that market." Provident Bankshares is already making progress in getting more business from businesses. Average core commercial depositsóthe deposits it gathers from its business customersórose $102 million, or 28 percent, last year to $463 million. Average core commercial loans increased $104 million, or 12 percent, to $605 million. That helped make last year a good one for Provident. Earnings rose 7 percent to $51.5 million.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
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