GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank Corp. got off to what President and CEO Brad Kessel called a “solid start” in 2019 with slightly higher earnings.
The Grand Rapids-based Independent Bank (Nasdaq: IBCP) on Monday reported nearly $9.4 million in first quarter net income, or 39 per diluted share, versus $9.1 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.
Quarterly net income for the January-to-March period would have been higher except for a $2.2 million after-tax charge this year. The bank also recorded a $1.5 million gain last year. Both one-time events were from the price of capitalized mortgage loan servicing rights.
Minus the quarterly charge this year, Independent Bank’s net income for the first quarter would have grown 38 percent over the same period in 2018.
“I feel really good about getting out of the gates in 2019, particularly with our commercial team,” Kessel said in a Monday conference call with brokerage analysts to discuss quarterly results.
The Grand Rapids-area market represented the strongest growth area for the bank with a $102 million year-to-year increase in portfolio loans, which totaled $790 million as of March 31, Kessel said, citing the “continuation of the positive economic trends.”
Loans grew at an annualized rate of 5.7 percent in the first quarter, a period in which growth rates are slower because of seasonal factors, said CFO Robert Shuster.
“So we expect this growth rate to accelerate over the next couple of quarters and remain comfortable with our full year expectation of 8-percent to 9-percent loan growth,” Shuster said of 2019.
Independent Bank has 68 branches in the Lower Peninsula with $3.38 billion in total assets as of March 31, including about $337 million that it picked up with the April 2018 acquisition of TCSB Bancorp in Traverse City.