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Mercantile reports ‘very strong’ start to 2017

BY Tuesday, April 18, 2017 11:19am

Mercantile Bank Corp.’s net income dipped in the first quarter, the result of one-time events.

The Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank today reported quarterly net income of $7.6 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, for the period ending on March 31. That compares with net income of $8.5 million, or 52 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016.

Executives said a bank-owned life insurance claim contributed $1.1 million in income for the first quarter, which raised net income by 6 cents per share, according to an earnings release.

The sale in the first quarter of 2016 of $11 million in trust preferred securities increased net income by about $1.8 million, or cents 11 per diluted share.

Overall, CEO and President Robert Kaminski said the bank had a “very strong” first quarter in performance and loan growth.

“Mercantile’s track record of strong financial performance continued in the first quarter of 2017,” Kaminski said.

Mercantile grew loans 11 percent, or $63 million, from a year earlier to $2.44 billion and originated new loans of $130 million during the quarter for new and existing commercial borrowers.

Kaminski attributed the loan growth partly to the state economy that’s driving demand. The bank’s loan pipeline “continued to be solid,” said Kaminski, who reiterated the bank’s prior guidance for 2017 loan growth to be in the high single digits.

Total assets grew 3.1 percent from a year earlier to $3.01 billion, and total deposits increased 5.7 percent to $2.27 billion.

Mercantile Bank has 49 offices in the western and central Lower Peninsula. During the first quarter, the bank opened a loan office in Troy in suburban Detroit that it plans to transition into a full-service branch later this year.

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