Merchants Financial Group, Inc., (MFGI) announced net income of $3,949,425 through the first quarter of 2018, according to MFGI President and CEO Gregory M. Evans.
“It has been a very good start to the year thanks to the work of our employees across our locations,” Evans said. Net income for the first quarter was more than $1.8 million ahead of last year.
In acknowledgement of the performance, the MFGI Board of Directors authorized an 8.9-percent stockholder dividend increase from 56 cents per share to 61 cents per share.
“We had strong and consistent contributions throughout our company. Each of our four bank regions was ahead of its plan for the year, as were our leasing division and our secondary market mortgage operation. We have experienced year-over-year deposit and loan growth, and we have focused on credit quality,” Evans said. “I am optimistic about the remainder of the year.”
Year-over-year deposit growth was $57.2 million, and year-over-year loan growth was $49.9 million. Mortgage loan volume for the first quarter was $75 million, exceeding the company’s forecast by $5 million for the quarter. In addition to providing mortgage services for its locations, Merchants also provides correspondent mortgage banking services to more than 62 bank charters with 130 locations across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.
MFGI has recorded three consecutive years of record net income. Net income in 2017 was $20,878,465, including $14,297,105 in core earnings, a record on its own, and a $6.5 million accounting adjustment as a result of the reduction of a deferred tax liability, necessitated by the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
MFGI owns 21 Merchants Bank locations, divided into four bank regions, 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 also has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Additionally, MFGI 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 Southeast Minnesota and West-central Wisconsin.