First Merchants Corporation Announces 2012 Record Net Income Of More Than $40 Million Dollars

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ: FRME) has reported full year 2012 record net income available to common shareholders of $40.6 million compared to $9.0 million earned in 2011.

Michael C. Rechin, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our 2012 results represent a return to high performance banking. Our Board of Directors, management team and dedicated employees are very pleased to have established record high net income results for our shareholders. Beyond the level of net income, our highlights for 2012 include a successful closing of an immediately accretive in-market acquisition, an increase in the rate of organic loan growth and an increase in the level of our common dividend.” Rechin also stated, “our team is encouraged by the momentum we take into 2013 despite the challenging low interest rate environment.”

Year-to-date earnings per share totaled $1.41, a $1.07 per share increase over the prior year total of $.34 per share. Within the $1.41 earnings per share, $.21 is related to the one-time gain on the Corporation’s FDIC purchase and assumption agreement with SCB Bank in Shelbyville, Indiana, during the first quarter of 2012. The balance of our 2012 results represent increased levels of earnings from our relationship-driven banking model that produced higher levels of revenue from multiple income sources.

Fourth quarter 2012 earnings per share of $.32 compared to $.24 per share during the same period in 2011. Net income available to common shareholders totaled $9.2 million for the quarter, a $2.7 million increase over the fourth quarter of 2011.

Total assets equaled $4.3 billion, as loans and investments totaled $2.9 billion and $874 million, respectively. Loans increased for the fifth consecutive quarter due to the addition of calling officers and economic improvements in our marketplace. The Corporation’s loan-to-deposit ratio and loan-to-asset ratio remained steady at 87 percent and 67 percent, respectively.

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