Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) announced first quarter net income of $3,253,297, according to MFGI President & CEO Rodney R. Nelson.
“We are pleased with the results. They are consistently strong across our locations and slightly ahead of what we forecasted for this point in the year,”Nelson said. “Part of the reason for our success includes continued excellence in commercial loan growth and excellent mortgage activity because of continued low interest rates.”
As a result of the positive performance, the MFGI Board of Directors authorized a semiannual dividend of 55 cents per share to shareholders during its April meeting, an increase of two cents per share. Dividends will be paid in June to shareholders of record as of May 20.
“We are proud that since we first started paying dividends that we’ve never missed or decreased a dividend payment. This year, the dividend represents about 2.4% of our current share price, if annualized, and dividend payments would be about one quarter of our net income, if annualized,”Nelson said. “Thanks to the continued support from our customers and work of our employees, we believe we are on track for another good year.”
The first quarter income comes on the heels of Merchants Bank’s record earnings of $13,454,698 in net income in 2015.
MFGI owns 21 Merchants Bank locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Additionally, MFGI also owns Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.
The ownership of Merchants Financial Group is made up of its nearly 450 employees and its shareholders, mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.