GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercantile Bank Corporation (NASDAQ: MBWM) ("Mercantile") today announced it has been added to the Russell 3000 ® Index and Russell 2000 ®Index when Russell Investments ("Russell") reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June 22, 2012. "We are pleased to be added to the Russell 2000, which marks yet another milestone to a list of significant achievements for the Company in the past 18 months and reflects our continued positive momentum and efforts to increase shareholder value," commented Michael Price, Chairman and CEO of Mercantile Bank Corporation. "We expect our inclusion will raise our profile and generate greater interest in our stock at an institutional investor level." Mercantile reported 192 percent growth in pre-tax earnings in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the prior-year first quarter. In addition, the Company reported continued improvement in asset quality and achieved a record net interest margin in the first quarter of 2012. Mercantile also recently announced it has exited the TARP program after it repurchased the remaining 50 percent of the $21 million in non-voting preferred stock issued to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for both index funds and as benchmarks for passive and active investment strategies. In the institutional marketplace, an industry-leading $3.9 trillion in assets currently are benchmarked to them. The Company will hold its membership until Russell reconstitutes its indexes in June 2013. The annual reconstitution of the Russell 3000 captures the 3,000 largest U.S. stocks as of the end of May, ranking them by total market capitalization. The largest 1,000 companies in this ranking comprise the Russell 1000 and the next 2,000 companies become the Russell 2000. The Russell 3000 also serves as the U.S. component to the Russell Global Index, which Russell launched in 2007.