MIDLAND, Mich., Jan. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chemical Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:CHFC) today announced 2010 fourth quarter net income of $7.5 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared to net income of $8.9 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2010 and $2.5 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. Net income was $23.1 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010, compared to $10.0 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009.

"Our earnings recovery in 2010 was primarily driven by two factors. First, stabilization in credit quality resulted in a $13.4 million lower provision for loan losses for the year. Second, our acquisition of O.A.K. Financial Corporation (OAK), which closed on April 30, 2010, has been accretive to earnings starting in the third quarter of 2010," said David B. Ramaker, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President. "Although the fourth quarter of 2010 saw modestly lower profitability than the year's third quarter due to a $1.7 million higher provision for loan losses, we believe that the credit quality of the loan portfolio continues to stabilize, as evidenced by a $9.9 million reduction in nonaccrual loans during the quarter on the originated portfolio."

"We believe we are seeing small, positive signs of recovery and growth in certain areas of the Michigan economy, but uncertainty remains over whether and when this will translate into sustained, widespread growth. As a result, credit quality concerns remain top of mind," said Ramaker.

"We expect 2011 will be characterized by the ongoing pursuit of strategies to profitably grow our core community banking franchise, including opportunistic acquisitions where appropriate. With strong capital ratios, positive earnings and a growing franchise focused exclusively on Michigan, we remain well positioned to capitalize on investment opportunities in the markets we serve," added Ramaker.