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First Midwest Bank to buy back $180 million of stock

Pop-up gallery at First Midwest Bank in Highland. The bank is buying back $180 million of stock.

First Midwest Banking is buying back $180 million of its stock.

The Chicago-based bank, which has a major footprint in Northwest Indiana, plans to purchase 7.5 percent of its outstanding shares. 

“The board’s adoption of this stock repurchase program is an important alternative within our overall capital management strategy and reflects our continuing commitment to growing long-term value for our stockholders,” First Midwest Bank Chairman and CEO Michael Scudder said.

First Midwest plans to buy back its stock, which is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the FMBI symbol, over the course of the next year. The company will repurchase stock at prices it determines. First Midwest stock was trading for more than $21 a share Wednesday morning. 

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Companies across the United States bought back a record $1.1 trillion worth of their shares last year, as they were flush with cash after federal tax cuts that reduced the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Barron's forecasts last year's record could be shattered this year.

Companies typically buy back shares to boost earnings per share and lift stock prices.

First Midwest has $16 billion in assets, $11 billion in assets under management and locations in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, downstate Illinois and eastern Iowa. The successor to Hammond's Bank Calumet and Standard Bank and Trust, it has branches in  Crown Point, Dyer, East Chicago, Gary, Griffith, Hammond, Highland, Merrillville, Munster, Schererville and St. John.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.