UPDATE 3-PNC Financial raises dividend 250 percent

* Quarterly dividend raised to 35 cents from 10 cents

* PNC to buy back up to $500 mln of common stock this year
(Adds byline, stock price, details on PNC Financial’s upcoming
first quarter earnings)

By Joe Rauch

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 7 (Reuters) – PNC Financial Services
Group Inc (PNC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it would raise its quarterly dividend
250 percent and would repurchase up to $500 million of common
stock this year.

The bank said it would increase its quarterly dividend to
35 cents a share, which would amount to about 24 percent of its
expected 2011 earnings. Like its rivals, PNC received
regulatory approval to pay more of its earnings to shareholders
after being found to have enough capital to withstand stress
scenarios.

Pittsburgh-based PNC said on March 18 that it would
consider a dividend increase at the company’s April 7 board
meeting after completion of a second round of industry stress
tests conducted by the Federal Reserve. [ID:nN18300131]

PNC has long been considered one of the strongest U.S.
banks to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank has posted consistent profits since the crisis
peaked in fall 2008.

The dividend announcement comes less than two weeks before
the bank will report first quarter 2011 results on April 21.

Analysts project the company will report first quarter 2011
earnings of $1.36 per share.

US Bancorp, (USB.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , JPMorgan Chase, (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Wells Fargo
& Co (WFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and State Street Corp (STT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) announced higher
dividends on March 18. [ID:nN18237905]

PNC previously paid a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per
share, which was about 6 percent of net earnings in 2010. The
higher dividend will be paid on May 5 to investors who own
shares at the close of business on April 18.

PNC shares were up slightly at $63.87 in morning trading on
the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Joe Rauch, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John
Wallace, Dave Zimmerman)

UPDATE 3-PNC Financial raises dividend 250 percent