DUBUQUE, Iowa, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLF) has been named a " Forbes Best Bank 2017." In its annual review of the 100 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts, Forbes ranked Heartland 44 th among a nationwide group of banks with assets ranging from under $8 billion to over $2.5 trillion.

Said Lynn B. Fuller, chairman and chief executive officer, "We are pleased to be ranked the 44 th best performing bank holding company among America's 100 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts. The work of our team this past year produced strong results for our shareholders, targeted expansions in our community banking footprint, and record annual net income available for common stockholders. The Forbes ranking reflects our success and our outlook for a continued strong performance in 2017."

To compile the rankings, Forbes used data collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence through the third quarter of 2016 on the country's largest publicly traded banks and thrifts. The data covered 10 metrics related to growth, profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality. Metrics included return on average tangible equity, return on average assets, net interest margin, efficiency ratio and net charge-offs as a percent of total loans. Nonperforming assets as a percent of assets, risk-based capital ratio and reserves as a percent of nonperforming assets were also factored in.

"We attribute our strong performance to our loyal and satisfied customers, our dedicated professional staff and our disciplined financial management," said Fuller. In 2016, Heartland's net income increased by 35 percent over 2015, with earnings per share growing by 14 percent. "The shared success of our network of subsidiary community banks creates an outstanding platform for continued growth."

About Heartland Financial USA, Inc.

Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is a diversified financial services company with assets exceeding $8 billion. The company provides banking, mortgage, private client, investment, treasury management, card services, insurance, and consumer finance services to individuals and businesses. Heartland currently has 109 banking locations serving 87 communities in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and California. Additional information about Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is available at www.htlf.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release, and future oral and written statements of Heartland and its management, may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about Heartland's financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. Although these forward-looking statements are based upon the beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Heartland's management, there are a number of factors, many of which are beyond the ability of management to control or predict, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in its forward-looking statements. These factors, which are detailed in the risk factors included in Heartland's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, include, among others: (i) the strength of the local and national economy; (ii) the economic impact of past and any future terrorist threats and attacks and any acts of war, (iii) changes in state and federal laws, regulations and governmental policies concerning the Company's general business; (iv) changes in interest rates and prepayment rates of the Company's assets; (v) increased competition in the financial services sector and the inability to attract new customers; (vi) changes in technology and the ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; (vii)  the loss of key executives or employees; (viii)  changes in consumer spending; (ix) unexpected results of acquisitions; (x) unexpected outcomes of existing or new litigation involving the Company; and (xi) changes in accounting policies and practices. All statements in this release, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and Heartland undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events.
CONTACT:Bryan McKeagExecutive Vice PresidentChief Financial Officer563.589.1994

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