GRAND RAPIDS — Strong income from mortgage lending helped to push Mercantile Bank Corp.’s earnings higher for the first quarter.
Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank (Nasdaq: MBWM) today reported $14.2 million in net income for the first quarter, or 87 cents per diluted share. That compares to $10.6 million in net income, or 65 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year earlier.
Quarterly non-interest income from fees nearly doubled to $13.5 million, largely driven by income from mortgages as low interest rates drove home purchases and refinancing activity for existing mortgages.
“Mercantile had an extremely strong quarter to start 2021,” President and CEO Robert Kaminski Jr. said this morning in a conference call with brokerage analysts to discuss quarterly results. “The wonderful work of our team across all fronts throughout 2020 and during the first quarter position us well for success in the rest of the year and beyond.”
Mercantile Bank recorded net loan growth of $171 million during the quarter, including $89.3 million in lending through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Another $83.9 million came in core commercial loan growth.
All loans at the end of the quarter totaled $3.36 billion, including $2.96 billion in commercial loans.
The bank said commercial lending lines of credit were “relatively steady during the last nine months” after declining $109 million in the second quarter of 2020 “largely due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic environment and federal government stimulus programs.”
At the end of the first quarter this year, Mercantile Bank had $135 million in commercial construction and development loans that it largely expects to fund in the next 12 to 18 months.
Mercantile Bank has 44 offices across the Lower Peninsula and $4.71 billion in total assets as of March 31.