WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, April 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- West Bancorporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTBA), parent company of West Bank, is pleased to report that first quarter 2016 net income was $5.7 million, or $0.35 per diluted common share.  This is the highest net income ever recorded by the Company for the first quarter of any year, and compares to first quarter 2015 net income of $5.1 million, or $0.32 per diluted common share.  On April 27, 2016, the Company's Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.17 per common share, an increase of $0.01 per share, or 6.25 percent, over the quarterly dividend paid in each of the previous four quarters.  The dividend is payable on May 25, 2016, to shareholders of record on May 11, 2016.  The quarterly dividend payment of $0.17 per common share is the highest quarterly dividend ever paid by the Company.

During the first quarter of 2016, the Company recorded tax-exempt gains from bank-owned life insurance of approximately $443,000.  Associated with the life insurance claims were related expenses of approximately $111,000 on an after-tax basis, resulting in a nonrecurring benefit of approximately $332,000.  Even excluding this nonrecurring item, net income for the first quarter of 2016 would have been an all-time record for any first quarter.  This is the seventh consecutive record quarter for each respective quarter.

"We are pleased with the loan portfolio growth experienced in the first quarter," commented Dave Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Bancorporation, Inc.  "Many times, the first quarter can be a relatively slow growth period.  Having the loan portfolio increase by approximately $28 million during the first quarter gives us a great start to 2016."

Mr. Nelson added, "The recognition of our performance by independent third parties continued in the first quarter of 2016.  The investment banking firm Raymond James and Associates, Inc. recognized our Company as a top community bank for the fourth year in a row.  S&P Global Market Intelligence also recognized us as a top community bank in the United States.  We appreciate this recognition, and are fully aware it would not happen without the effort put forth by our entire team to provide outstanding service to our customers."

Brad Winterbottom, West Bank President, said, "Loan growth should continue at a strong level for the next couple of quarters in all of our markets.  Our bankers are doing a tremendous job expanding and growing our customer base."

Eastern Iowa Market President, Jim Conard, commented, "We were pleased to add several new community leaders to our community board for the eastern Iowa market in the first quarter.  We appreciate their support and guidance.  This validates the growing presence of West Bank in eastern Iowa."

"Our Rochester location continued to build market share with total loans outstanding in excess of $100 million, which was an increase of 15 percent since year end," said Mike Zinser, Rochester Market President.  "Our success in Rochester is built on strong values and being quick and decisive at the local level.  With our model as a business bank, we allow our people to focus on what we do best every day.  As our growth attests, this very intentional approach has been well received by the Rochester business community."  Zinser continued, "As we begin our fourth year in Rochester, we are excited about not only the momentum we have generated so far, but also the foundation we are establishing with our new building, which is expected to open in September of 2016.  This is an exciting time for West Bank in Rochester."

The Company filed its report on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission this morning.  Please refer to that document for a more in-depth discussion of our results.  The Form 10-Q document is available on the Investor Relations section of West Bank's website at www.westbankstrong.com.

The Company will discuss its results in a conference call scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Central Time tomorrow, Friday, April 29, 2016.  The telephone number for the conference call is 888-339-0814.  A recording of the call will be available until May 13, 2016, by dialing 877-344-7529.  The replay passcode is 10077820.

As previously reported, the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held at 4:00 p.m. Central Time this afternoon at the Company headquarters.

About West Bancorporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTBA)West Bancorporation, Inc. is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Serving Iowans since 1893, West Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of West Bancorporation, Inc., is a community bank that focuses on lending, deposit services, and trust services for consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses.  West Bank has eight offices in the Des Moines metropolitan area, one office in Iowa City, Iowa, one office in Coralville, Iowa and one office in Rochester, Minnesota.

Certain statements in this press release, other than purely historical information, including estimates, projections, statements relating to our business plans, objectives and expected operating results, and the assumptions upon which those statements are based, are "forward-looking statements" within the meanings of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  Forward-looking statements may appear throughout this press release.  These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "projects," "future," "may," "should," "will," "strategy," "plan," "opportunity," "will be," "will likely result," "will continue," or similar references, or references to estimates, predictions or future events.  Such forward-looking statements are based upon certain underlying assumptions, risks and uncertainties.  Because of the possibility that the underlying assumptions are incorrect or do not materialize as expected in the future, actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements.  Risks and uncertainties that may affect future results include: interest rate risk; competitive pressures; pricing pressures on loans and deposits; changes in credit and other risks posed by the Company's loan and investment portfolios, including declines in commercial or residential real estate values or changes in the allowance for loan losses dictated by new market conditions or regulatory requirements; actions of bank and non-bank competitors; changes in local and national economic conditions; changes in regulatory requirements, limitations and costs; changes in customers' acceptance of the Company's products and services; cyber-attacks; and any other risks described in the "Risk Factors" sections of reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update such forward-looking statements to reflect current or future events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Financial Information (unaudited)        
(in thousands)        
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS   March 31, 2016   March 31, 2015
Cash and due from banks   $ 48,919     $ 40,514  
Federal funds sold   7,804     48,445  
Investment securities available for sale, at fair value   311,335     264,213  
Investment securities held to maturity, at amortized cost   50,526     51,322  
Federal Home Loan Bank stock, at cost   12,353     12,515  
Loans   1,274,929     1,184,447  
Allowance for loan losses   (15,280 )   (13,878 )
Loans, net   1,259,649     1,170,569  
Premises and equipment, net   17,298     10,798  
Bank-owned life insurance   32,688     32,296  
Other assets   14,547     17,994  
Total assets   $ 1,755,119     $ 1,648,666  
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity        
Noninterest-bearing   $ 457,409     $ 367,422  
Demand   247,300     257,696  
Savings   632,934     597,181  
Time of $250,000 or more   13,248     14,416  
Other time   94,856     128,705  
Total deposits   1,445,747     1,365,420  
Short-term borrowings   18,685     4,100  
Long-term borrowings   126,738     129,476  
Other liabilities   7,023     5,949  
Stockholders' equity   156,926     143,721  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity   $ 1,755,119     $ 1,648,666  

Financial Information (continued) (unaudited)        
(in thousands)        
    Three Months Ended March 31,
Interest income        
Loans, including fees   $ 13,466     $ 12,622  
Investment securities   2,038     1,889  
Other   20     10  
Total interest income   15,524     14,521  
Interest expense        
Deposits   705     571  
Short-term borrowings   16     28  
Long-term borrowings   1,104     959  
Total interest expense   1,825     1,558  
Net interest income   13,699     12,963  
Provision for loan losses   200      
Net interest income after provision for loan losses   13,499     12,963  
Noninterest income        
Service charges on deposit accounts   596     620  
Debit card usage fees   447     435  
Trust services   297     325  
Increase in cash value of bank-owned life insurance   168     189  
Gain from bank-owned life insurance   443      
Realized investment securities gains, net       11  
Other income   279     280  
Total noninterest income   2,230     1,860  
Noninterest expense        
Salaries and employee benefits   4,256     3,990  
Occupancy   951     1,049  
Data processing   579     574  
FDIC insurance expense   218     202  
Other expenses   1,795     1,631  
Total noninterest expense   7,799     7,446  
Income before income taxes   7,930     7,377  
Income taxes   2,234     2,274  
Net income   $ 5,696     $ 5,103  

Financial Information (continued) (unaudited)                
    Net Income            
    Basic   Diluted   Dividends   High   Low
1st Quarter   $ 0.35     $ 0.35     $ 0.16     $ 19.58     $ 16.04  
4th Quarter     0.37       0.37       0.16       21.09       17.74  
3rd Quarter     0.34       0.34       0.16       20.99       17.67  
2nd Quarter     0.33       0.33       0.16       20.46       17.98  
1st Quarter     0.32       0.32       0.14       19.94       16.00  

(1)  The prices shown are the high and low sale prices for the Company's common stock, which trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, under the symbol WTBA.  The market quotations, reported by Nasdaq, do not include retail markup, markdown or commissions.
    Three Months Ended March 31,
Return on average assets   1.31 %   1.27 %
Return on average equity   14.77 %   14.57 %
Net interest margin   3.51 %   3.59 %
Efficiency ratio*   46.91 %   48.25 %
    As of March 31,
    2016   2015
Texas ratio*   0.76 %   2.73 %
Allowance for loan losses ratio   1.20 %   1.17 %
Tangible common equity ratio   8.94 %   8.72 %
* A lower ratio is more desirable.

Definitions of ratios:•   Return on average assets - annualized net income divided by average assets.•   Return on average equity - annualized net income divided by average stockholders' equity.•   Net interest margin - annualized tax-equivalent net interest income divided by average interest-earning assets.•   Efficiency ratio - noninterest expense (excluding other real estate owned expense) divided by noninterest income (excluding net securities gains and gains/losses on disposition of premises and equipment) plus tax-equivalent net interest income.•   Texas ratio - total nonperforming assets divided by tangible common equity plus the allowance for loan losses.•   Allowance for loan losses ratio - allowance for loan losses divided by total loans.•   Tangible common equity ratio - common equity less intangible assets divided by tangible assets.

For more information contact:Doug Gulling, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (515) 222-2309

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