First Midwest Bank reports big increase in earnings

2013-10-30T12:00:00Z 2013-10-30T18:25:15Z First Midwest Bank reports big increase in earningsJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
October 30, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

First Midwest Bancorp Inc., the parent company of First Midwest Bank, reported an 80 percent increase in net income last quarter after seeing its loan business pick up and selling off an ownership stake during a company's initial public offering.

The Chicago-based bank, which has about 20 locations in Northwest Indiana, recorded $28.9 million in profit in the third quarter, as compared to a $16 million profit the previous quarter. First Midwest earned 39 cents per common share between July and September.

In the third quarter of 2012, the bank had lost $47.8 million, or 65 cents a share. But First Midwest has since grown earnings for four consecutive quarters and seen market conditions improve.

Earnings per share has grown 160 percent since the bank posted a large loss in the third quarter of last year. Non-performing loans have declined by 34 percent since then.

"It was a strong quarter for us on a number of fronts," said Michael Scudder, president and CEO. "Earnings improved to $29 million, or over 80 percent, from last quarter as we benefited from both strong business performance and proactive management of our balance sheet. Solid production across all of our business lines couple with substantial improvement in asset quality helped drive our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth."

The bank grew loans at a 12 percent annualized rate, largely through commercial, industrial and agricultural lending. Fee-based revenues increased by 7 percent as compared to the previous quarter and by 14 percent as compared to the same period last year.

First Midwest also added $11.4 million in capital and net revenue by selling off an equity investment in an business software firm during its stock market launch and by canceling loans it had planned to take out from a wholesale bank.

"Additionally, market conditions were such that we were able to opportunistically sell or restructure certain balance sheet positions, adding $11.4 million in net earnings while better positioning ourselves to benefit from higher rates," Scudder said. "As we look ahead, our business momentum combined with the strength of our core deposit base and capital foundation leave us well-positioned to grow and enhance shareholder value."

First Midwest operates 100 bank branches throughout the Midwest, mainly in the greater Chicago area. In Northwest Indiana, the bank has locations in Munster, Highland, Hammond, Dyer, Schererville, Griffith, Gary, St. John, Merrillville, Crown Point and Winfield.

In the south suburbs on the Illinois side, First Midwest has branches in Ford Heights, Chicago Heights, Crete and University Park.

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