Firstbank Corporation Announces Second Quarter and Year-to-Date 2013 Results

Firstbank Corporation Announces Second Quarter and Year-to-Date 2013 Results                               Highlights Include:    *For the second quarter of 2013, earnings per share of $0.38 were 52% over     the $0.25 for the second quarter of 2012   *Provision expense down 57% from the first quarter of 2013 and down 78%     from the year-ago second quarter   *Non-accrual loans down 8% in the quarter and down 34% from year-ago; other     real estate owned down 29% from the prior quarter and 33% less than     year-ago   *Redemption of all preferred stock completed   *Back room conversions related to the consolidation of Firstbank charters     completed on schedule with little or no disruption of customer service   *Equity ratios remained strong with affiliate banks continuing to exceed     regulatory well-capitalized requirements  ALMA, Mich., July 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thomas R. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Firstbank Corporation (Nasdaq:FBMI), announced net income of $3,343,000 for the second quarter of 2013, increasing 39.1% from $2,404,000 for the second quarter of 2012, with net income available to common shareholders of $3,077,000 in the second quarter of 2013 increasing 55.1% from $1,984,000 in the second quarter of 2012. Earnings per share were $0.38 in the second quarter of 2013 compared to $0.25 in the second quarter of 2012. Returns on average assets and average equity for the second quarter of 2013 were 0.90% and 9.1%, respectively, compared to 0.65% and 6.3% respectively in the second quarter of 2012.  For the first half of 2013, net income of $6,206,000 increased 28.7% from $4,821,000 for the first half of 2012, with net income available to common shareholders of $5,725,000 in the first half of 2013 increasing 43.8% from $3,981,000 in the first half of 2012. Earnings per share were $0.71 in the first half of 2013 compared to $0.50 in the first half of 2012. Returns on average assets and average equity for the first half of 2013 were 0.83% and 8.5%, respectively, compared to 0.65% and 6.3% respectively in the first half of 2012.  Mr. Sullivan stated, "The second quarter of 2013 saw significant progress for our company. With the redemption and retirement of $17 million of our Series A Preferred Stock, we completed the redemption of all of the preferred shares and warrants issued in 2009 as part of the U.S. Treasury's TARP Capital Purchase Program. This redemption marked a key milestone in our company's successful navigation of the 'great recession.'  "We saw growth in portfolio loans, which helps our earning asset mix and hopefully is a sign of an improving economic environment. With the growth in loans, we saw the first quarterly increase in our yield on earning assets since the third quarter of 2007.  "We continued to make progress on reducing non-accrual loans and other real estate owned. Getting these non-performing assets off our balance sheet allows our lending staff to focus more on developing new relationships and serving existing good customers.  "The back room conversions related to the integration of our bank charters was completed and the whole charter consolidation project has gone well and without disruption. We continue to serve our customers with the same high quality, timely, personal, professional, community bank service.  "Improvement in our earnings and asset quality metrics are the result of all of this progress, and we thank our wonderful staff for their hard work and dedication to our customers and company."  Provision for Loan Losses. The provision for loan losses, at $552,000 in the second quarter of 2013, was 57% less than the amount required in the first quarter of 2013 and was 78% less than the amount in the year-ago second quarter. Net charge-offs of $1,161,000 in the second quarter included $798,000 that had been specifically reserved in periods prior to the beginning of the quarter, making it unnecessary to provide the full amount of net charge-offs in the quarter. The provision expense of $552,000 in the second quarter of 2013 did exceed the amount of net charge-offs that had not been previously reserved. The level of provision expense and other expenses related to management and collection of the loan portfolio, while coming down, continue to be the major impediments to higher levels of profitability.  Net Interest Income. Net interest income, at $13,191,000 in the second quarter of 2013 was 4.7%, lower than in the second quarter of 2012, as a result of a 16 basis point lower net interest margin compared to the year-ago quarter. More importantly, Firstbank's net interest margin in the second quarter of 2013 improved to 3.89% from 3.83% in the first quarter of 2013. Although competitive pricing pressure continued to force yields lower on some loan renewals, portfolio loans grew in the second quarter of 2013. With the improvement in earning asset mix in the quarter, the yield on average earning assets increased by 3 basis points, to 4.34% in the second quarter of 2013 from 4.31% in the first quarter of 2013. The cost of funds to average earning assets declined by 3 basis points, to 0.45% in the second quarter of 2013 from 0.48% in the first quarter of 2013.  Non-interest Income. Total non-interest income, at $2,973,000 in the second quarter of 2013, was 1.8% lower than in the second quarter of 2012. Although mortgage refinance activity remained at a historically strong level, gain on sale of mortgages, at $1,467,000 in the second quarter of 2013, decreased 6.0% compared to the first quarter of 2013 but was 0.5% above the year-ago level. The category of "other" non-interest income, at $481,000 in the second quarter of 2013, was 20% more than the amount in the first quarter of 2013 and 4.1% more than in the second quarter of 2012. Included in this category of income was a $103,000 net gain on sale of other real estate owned in the second quarter of 2013, compared to a net gain of $54,000 in the first quarter of 2012 and a net loss of $13,000 in the second quarter of 2012. In the year-ago second quarter a non-taxable income item of $178,000, related to a director benefit plan of an affiliate bank, affected this category and did not recur in 2013.  Non-interest Expense. Total non-interest expense, at $10,907,000 in the second quarter of 2013, was 1.1% lower than the level in the second quarter of 2012. Salaries and employee benefits were 4.3% higher than in the second quarter of 2012. The salary and wage component increased 6.0%, mostly due to the reinstatement of normal incentive plans which were in suspension during the year-ago second quarter. Benefits costs decreased 1.9%. Occupancy and equipment costs were 3.3% more than the amount in last year's second quarter mostly due to upgrades of computer equipment and routine building maintenance. FDIC insurance premium expense, at $276,000 in the second quarter of 2013, was 15% less than the level in the second quarter of 2012 due to the timing of expense recognition related to the FDIC's change in methodology for assessing premiums based on assets rather than deposits. The category of "other" non-interest expense, totaling $3,496,000 in the second quarter of 2013, decreased 8.7% compared to the second quarter of 2012. Write-downs of valuations of other real estate owned (OREO) were $96,000 in the second quarter of 2013, well below the $257,000 amount in the second quarter of 2012. Also affecting this category in the second quarter of 2013 was a $270,000 write-down of a municipal note that had previously been taken as collateral on a loan that had been charged-off in prior periods.  Total Assets. Total assets of Firstbank Corporation at June 30, 2013, were $1.457 billion, a decrease of 1.9% from year-ago. Total portfolio loans of $975 million increased 1.4% from the level at March 31, 2013, although reaching a level still 1.3% less than year-ago. Commercial and commercial real estate loans increased 0.4% in the second quarter of 2013, but were 2.7% less than year ago, and real estate construction loans decreased 2.6% from year ago, including a 3.2% decrease in the second quarter of 2013. Residential mortgage loans increased 2.9% in the second quarter of 2013, but were 0.2% less than year ago. Consumer loans increased 5.4% in the second quarter of 2013 and were 4.3% above year ago. Firstbank continues to have ample capital and funding resources to increase loans on its balance sheet, although demand for funds for new ventures by quality borrowers remains weak. Strong mortgage refinance activity has resulted in many mortgage loans being financed in the secondary market rather than on the balance sheet of the company. Total deposits as of June 30, 2013, were $1.208 billion, compared to $1.212 billion at June 30, 2012, a decrease of 0.3%. Core deposits at June 30, 2013, were 0.2% below the year-ago level, and they decreased $48.2 million in the second quarter of 2013, mostly in interest bearing demand and time deposits. Until more loan demand materializes and excess liquidity is deployed into loans, deposit growth can receive less emphasis.  Net Charge-offs. Net charge-offs were $1,161,000 in the second quarter of 2013, decreasing from $1,770,000 in the first quarter of 2013 and decreasing from $2,192,000 in the second quarter of 2012. In the second quarter of 2013, net charge-offs annualized represented 0.48% of average loans, down significantly from 0.73% in the first quarter of 2013 and 0.89% in the second quarter of 2012.  Allowance and Asset Quality. At the end of the second quarter of 2013 the ratio of the allowance for loan losses to loans was 2.08%, compared to 2.17% at March 31, 2013, and 2.18% at June 30, 2012. Performing adjusted loans (troubled debt restructurings, or TDRs) were $21,815,000 at June 30, 2013, compared to $20,898,000 at March 31, 2013, and $19,274,000 at June 30, 2012. Loans past due over 90 days and accruing interest were $18,000 at June 30, 2013, compared to $64,000 at March 31, 2013, and reduced from the $558,000 amount at June 30, 2012. Non-accrual loans were $11,849,000 at June 30, 2013, a decrease of 7.9% from the level at March 31, 2013, and a decrease of 33.7% from the $17,875,000 amount at June 30, 2012.  Other real estate owned decreased to $2,504,000 at June 30, 2013, compared to the $3,541,000 level at March 31, 2013, and was down 33% from the $3,741,000 level at June 30, 2012.  Equity to Assets Ratio. The ratio of average equity to average assets remained a strong 9.8% in the second quarter of 2013, the same as in the prior quarter. The decline in this ratio from 10.4% in the second quarter of 2012 reflects the repurchase in 2012 of $16 million of the original $33 million outstanding of preferred stock and the repurchase and retirement of all outstanding warrants. On June 14, 2013, Firstbank redeemed all of the remaining $17 million outstanding preferred stock, and at June 30, 2013, after this redemption of preferred stock, the ratio of equity to assets was 9.1%, still quite strong. Firstbank Corporation's affiliate banks continue to meet regulatory well-capitalized requirements.  Firstbank Corporation, headquartered in Alma, Michigan, is a bank holding company using a community bank local decision-making format with assets of $1.5 billion and 46 banking offices serving Michigan's Lower Peninsula.  This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. When used in this press release the words "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "hopeful," "potential," "should," and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, future business growth, changes in interest rates, loan charge-off rates, demand for new loans, future profitability, and the resolution of problem loans. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors affecting the Company's operations, markets, products, services, interest rates and fees for services. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.  FIRSTBANK CORPORATION CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Dollars in thousands except per share data) UNAUDITED                                                                                                       Three Months Ended:     Six Months Ended:                                     Jun 30  Mar 31  Jun 30  Jun 30   Jun 30                                     2013    2013    2012    2013     2012 Interest income:                                                   Interest and fees on loans           $13,399 $13,284 $14,493 $26,683  $29,061 Investment securities                                              Taxable                              865     962     1,183   1,827    2,404 Exempt from federal income tax       432     371     290     803      573 Short term investments               55      55      54      110      108 Total interest income                14,751  14,672  16,020  29,423   32,146                                                                   Interest expense:                                                  Deposits                             1,237   1,350   1,718   2,587    3,610 Notes payable and other borrowing    323     310     463     633      930 Total interest expense               1,560   1,660   2,181   3,220    4,540                                                                   Net interest income                  13,191  13,012  13,839  26,203   27,606 Provision for loan losses            552     1,278   2,494   1,830    4,988 Net interest income after provision  12,639  11,734  11,345  24,373   22,618 for loan losses                                                                   Noninterest income:                                                Gain on sale of mortgage loans       1,467   1,561   1,460   3,028    3,155 Service charges on deposit accounts  1,044   1,020   1,060   2,064    2,118 Gain on trading account securities   6       0       5       6        6 Gain on sale of AFS securities       2       50      27      52       40 Mortgage servicing                   (27)    (136)   15      (163)    (79) Other                                481     400     462     881      1,003 Total noninterest income             2,973   2,895   3,029   5,868    6,243                                                                   Noninterest expense:                                               Salaries and employee benefits       5,705   5,918   5,468   11,623   11,138 Occupancy and equipment              1,327   1,359   1,284   2,686    2,645 Amortization of intangibles          103     102     126     205      271 FDIC insurance premium               276     259     325     535      699 Other                                3,496   2,963   3,829   6,459    7,326 Total noninterest expense            10,907  10,601  11,032  21,508   22,079                                                                   Income before federal income taxes   4,705   4,028   3,342   8,733    6,782 Federal income taxes                 1,362   1,165   938     2,527    1,961 Net Income                          3,343   2,863   2,404   6,206    4,821 Preferred Stock Dividends            266     215     420     481      840 Net Income available to Common       $3,077  $2,648  $1,984  $5,725   $3,981 Shareholders                                                                   Fully Tax Equivalent Net Interest    $13,438 $13,232 $14,023 $26,670  $27,919 Income                                                                   Per Share Data:                                                    Basic Earnings                       $0.38   $0.33   $0.25   $0.71    $0.50 Diluted Earnings                     $0.38   $0.33   $0.25   $0.71    $0.50 Dividends Paid                       $0.06   $0.06   $0.01   $0.12    $0.07                                                                   Performance Ratios:                                                Return on Average Assets (a)         0.90%   0.77%   0.65%   0.83%    0.65% Return on Average Equity (a)         9.1%    7.9%    6.3%    8.5%     6.3% Net Interest Margin (FTE) (a)        3.89%   3.83%   4.05%   3.86%    4.04% Book Value Per Share (b)             $16.41  $16.49  $16.14  $16.41   $16.14 Tangible Book Value per Share (b)    $11.92  $11.96  $11.52  $11.92   $11.52 Average Equity/Average Assets        9.8%    9.8%    10.4%   9.8%     10.4% Net Charge-offs                      $1,161  $1,770  $2,192  $2,931   $4,485 Net Charge-offs as a % of Average    0.48%   0.73%   0.89%   0.61%    0.91% Loans (c)(a)                                                                   (a)Annualized                                                    (b)Period End                                            `         (c)Total loans less loans held for                                sale                                                                    FIRSTBANK CORPORATION CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Dollars in thousands) UNAUDITED                                                                                                    Jun 30     Mar 31     Dec 31     Jun 30                                   2013       2013       2012       2012 ASSETS                                                                                                                             Cash and cash equivalents:                                        Cash and due from banks            $14,132    $23,275    $38,544    $29,340 Short term investments             40,298     90,419     63,984     64,759 Total cash and cash equivalents    54,430     113,694    102,528    94,099                                                                  Securities available for sale      351,022    360,942    353,684    326,680 Federal Home Loan Bank stock       7,266      7,266      7,266      7,266 Loans:                                                            Loans held for sale                992        3,022      2,921      3,857 Portfolio loans:                                                  Commercial                        155,787    150,845    149,265    160,106 Commercial real estate            356,137    358,957    357,831    365,801 Residential mortgage               339,054    329,428    331,896    339,663 Real estate construction           55,138     56,940     58,530     56,599 Consumer                           68,688     65,148     66,240     65,861 Total portfolio loans              974,804    961,318    963,762    988,030 Less allowance for loan losses     (20,239)   (20,848)   (21,340)   (21,522) Net portfolio loans                954,565    940,470    942,422    966,508                                                                  Premises and equipment, net        24,322     24,499     24,356     24,978 Goodwill                           35,513     35,513     35,513     35,513 Other intangibles                  761        863        965        1,177 Other assets                       28,175     29,234     29,107     25,660 TOTAL ASSETS                       $1,457,046 $1,515,503 $1,498,762 $1,485,738                                                                  LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS'                                     EQUITY                                                                  LIABILITIES                                                                                                                        Deposits:                                                         Noninterest bearing accounts       $251,742   $243,126   $251,109   $217,824 Interest bearing accounts:                                        Demand                             338,168    371,929    348,598    330,582 Savings                            273,921    281,043    265,323    258,607 Time                               327,596    343,495    358,791    386,762 Wholesale CD's                     16,875     17,285     17,580     18,071 Total deposits                     1,208,302  1,256,878  1,241,401  1,211,846                                                                  Securities sold under agreements torepurchase and overnight        43,661     43,065     42,785     45,746 borrowings FHLB Advances and notes payable    27,862     19,959     22,493     24,334 Subordinated Debt                 36,084     36,084     36,084     36,084 Accrued interest and other         8,693      10,150     8,941      22,585 liabilities Total liabilities                  1,324,602  1,366,136  1,351,704  1,340,595                                                                  SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                                              Preferred stock; no par value, 300,000shares authorized, 33,000  0          16,912     16,908     16,901 outstanding Common stock; 20,000,000 shares    116,369    115,861    115,621    117,087 authorized Retained earnings                  15,679     13,085     10,921     7,397 Accumulated other comprehensive    396        3,509      3,608      3,758 income Total shareholders' equity         132,444    149,367    147,058    145,143 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND              $1,457,046 $1,515,503 $1,498,762 $1,485,738 SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                                                                  Common stock shares issued and     8,070,268  8,032,661  8,001,903  7,945,647 outstanding Principal Balance of Loans         $609.9     $606.7     $608.2     $595.3 Serviced for Others ($mil)                                                                  Asset Quality Information:                                        Performing Adjusted Loans (TDRs)   21,815    20,898    20,720    19,274 (b) Loans Past Due over 90 Days        18        64        37        558 Non-Accrual Loans                  11,849    12,872    15,668    17,875 Other Real Estate Owned            2,504      3,541      2,925      3,741 Allowance for Loan Loss as a % of  2.08%      2.17%      2.21%      2.18% Loans (a)                                                                  Quarterly Average Balances:                                       Total Portfolio Loans (a)          $965,722   $963,994   $968,509   $984,898 Total Earning Assets               1,384,833  1,396,999 1,381,004 1,392,597 Total Shareholders' Equity         146,755    147,384   145,186   157,080 Total Assets                       1,489,905  1,508,084  1,496,135  1,508,406 Diluted Shares Outstanding        8,118,717  8,063,604  7,994,996  7,995,343                                                                  (a) Total Loans less loans held                                   for sale (b) Troubled Debt Restructurings                                  in Call Reports                                                                   CONTACT: Samuel G. Stone          Executive Vice President and          Chief Financial Officer          (989) 466-7325  
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