Amsouth Bancorp. has announced a 3-for-2 stock split and a buyback of up to four million shares.
The shares will be used to fund the company's dividend reinvestment and employee benefit plans during the next two years.
The bank's board authorized the 3-for-2 split in the form of a 50% stock dividend, payable April 30.
Smith Barney analyst Jacqueline Reeves upgraded the stock to "outperform," from "neutral," citing the split and buyback and the bank's aggressive goals. She raised her earnings-per-share estimate for 1997 to $3.95, from $3.85, and her 1998 estimate to $4.95, from $4.45.
Ms. Reeves also moved her 12-month price target to $59, from $54.