GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. today reported higher earnings and strong lending growth for the first quarter.
The $8.5 million, or 52 cents per share, in quarterly net income to start 2016 compares to $6.4 million, or 39 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.
“Mercantile delivered strong performance in the first quarter, building on the momentum generated during 2015,” Chairman, President and CEO Michael Price said in this morning’s earnings release. “Based on our strong performance in the first quarter, we believe Mercantile is well positioned to succeed during 2016 and beyond and enhance shareholder value.”
The Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank (NASDAQ: MBWM) ended the first quarter with total assets of $2.92 billion, versus $2.87 billion a year earlier.
The bank reported $105 million in new commercial loan originations to new and existing borrowers during the quarter and a “strong pipeline” of loans. Unfunded commitments for commercial construction and development loans that the bank expects to fund within 12 months totaled about $77 million as of March 31.
Total loans for the quarter grew $2.30 billion, up $17.9 million from the fourth quarter and $175 million, or 8.2 percent, from the first quarter of 2015.
“While the level of originations was lower than the past few quarters, we exhibited net loan growth in the face of continuing competitive pressures and several larger loan payoffs,” Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Robert Kaminski Jr. said in a statement. “We remain committed to booking quality loans and underwriting them in a disciplined manner, and our strong current pipeline, which is substantially higher than at year-end 2015, provides us with optimism that originations will remain strong in future periods.”