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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 for loan losses 12,639 11,734 11,345 24,373 22,618
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 Shareholders $3,077 $2,648 $1,984 $5,725 $3,981
Fully Tax Equivalent Net Interest Income $13,438 $13,232 $14,023 $26,670 $27,919
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 Loans (c)(a) 0.48% 0.73% 0.89% 0.61% 0.91%
(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 to repurchase and overnight borrowings 43,661 43,065 42,785 45,746
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 liabilities 8,693 10,150 8,941 22,585
Total liabilities 1,324,602 1,366,136 1,351,704 1,340,595
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Preferred stock; no par value, 300,000 shares authorized, 33,000 outstanding 0 16,912 16,908 16,901
Common stock; 20,000,000 shares authorized 116,369 115,861 115,621 117,087
Retained earnings 15,679 13,085 10,921 7,397
Accumulated other comprehensive income 396 3,509 3,608 3,758
Total shareholders' equity 132,444 149,367 147,058 145,143
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY $1,457,046 $1,515,503 $1,498,762 $1,485,738
Common stock shares issued and outstanding 8,070,268 8,032,661 8,001,903 7,945,647
Principal Balance of Loans Serviced for Others ($mil) $609.9 $606.7 $608.2 $595.3
Asset Quality Information:
Performing Adjusted Loans (TDRs) (b) 21,815 20,898 20,720 19,274
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 Loans (a) 2.08% 2.17% 2.21% 2.18%
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) 466-7325Source:Firstbank Corporation