MIDLAND, Mich., Oct. 25, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chemical Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:CHFC) today announced 2010 third quarter net income of $8.9 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, compared to net income of $4.4 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010 and $2.5 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2009. Net income was $15.6 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, compared to $7.5 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2009. "We are pleased with our reported third quarter earnings, which benefited from higher net interest income, as well as a lower provision for loan losses, partially offset by higher expenses. The quarter's improvements were attributable, in part, to our acquisition of O.A.K. Financial Corporation (OAK), parent company of Byron Bank, which became accretive to earnings this quarter," said David B. Ramaker, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. "The acquisition has given Chemical Financial Corporation a much larger presence in the attractive Grand Rapids market, which will serve our franchise well in the months and years ahead. During the quarter, we completed the integration of Byron Bank into Chemical Bank, which, we are happy to report, went smoothly for all stakeholders involved." "The Michigan economy continues to struggle and has yet to show signs of sustainable growth. Consequently, credit quality concerns will remain paramount and key credit quality metrics will likely remain at elevated levels. Signs of stabilization in our loan portfolio resulted in a decline in the provision for loan losses from $12.7 million in the second quarter of 2010 to $8.6 million in the third quarter," Ramaker said. "With modest loan demand and the challenges of the Michigan economy, we will continue to opportunistically pursue various strategies, including acquisitions, as a means to grow our core banking franchise. Our dedication to Michigan, capital strength, and focus on small and middle-market commercial lending, positions us well to take advantage of opportunities in the markets we serve," said Ramaker.