Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) announced net income of $8,841,114 through the first three quarters of 2017, according to MFGI President & CEO Gregory M. Evans.
Evans said MFGI is enjoying both commercial loan and deposit growth, and mortgage loan volume also continues to be strong.
“Our core business continues to perform very well and drive our profitability,” Evans said. “Our community bankers continue to build our business by providing our customers guidance, convenience and excellent service across all of our locations.”
Net income is behind 2016’s pace, when MFGI had record earnings. Evans said that in alignment with MFGI’s conservative approach, $1.4 million was set aside for additional loan loss reserves in the third quarter. MFGI also made adjustments to loan loss reserves in each of the first two quarters of 2017. To date in 2017, MFGI has put aside more than $3.4 million in loan loss reserves to cushion against possible future loan stress, most notably in the ag sector. Evans said actual loan charge-off activity is negligible.
Evans reported the MFGI Board of Directors approved retaining a 56-cent per share dividend during its October meeting. MFGI stock continues to perform well, trading at $62.35 per share, compared to $48.75 a year ago.
“We are optimistic about the remainder of our year, and we expect continued good results,” Evans said.
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. 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 440 employees and its shareholders, mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.