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First Merchants Corporation announces second quarter 2021 earnings per share

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ - FRME) has reported second quarter 2021 net income of $55.6 million compared to $33 million during the same period in 2020. Earnings per share for the period totaled $1.03 per share compared to the second quarter of 2020 result of $.62 per share. Year-to-date net income totaled $105 million compared to $67.3 million during the six months ended June 30, 2020. Year-to-date earnings per share totaled $1.94 compared to $1.24 during the same period in 2020.

Total assets equaled $14.9 billion as of the quarter-ended June 30, 2021 and loans totaled $9.1 billion. The Corporation experienced organic loan growth of $289.6 million, or 3.4 percent during the last twelve months, offset by the forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans which accounted for a decline of $466.9 million. As a result, the loan portfolio decreased by $177.3 million, or 1.9 percent, during that period. Organic loan growth, on an annualized basis, was 6.7 percent in the second quarter 2021. Investments increased $1.4 billion, or 48.7 percent, during the last twelve months and now total $4.1 billion. Total deposits equaled $12.2 billion as of quarter-end and increased by $1.2 billion, or 11.3 percent, from the same period in 2020.
The Corporation’s Allowance for Credit Losses – Loans totaled $199.8 million as of quarter-end, or 2.19% of total loans. Net charge-offs for the quarter totaled $1.3 million and no provision expense was recorded. Provision expense taken during the three and six months ended June 30, 2020 of $21.9 million and $41.6 million, respectively, reflected our view of increased credit risk related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-accrual loans as of quarter-end totaled $57.6 million.

Mark Hardwick, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our management team is pleased with our record setting second quarter net income. It’s very satisfying to achieve great financial results while serving our clients and communities. Our healthy levels of loan growth, earning asset growth, credit quality, capital levels and efficiency will lead us into the future. I am proud of our teammates for staying focused on our goals and continuously finding ways to win for our stakeholders.”

Net-interest income for the quarter totaled $104.3 million, an increase of $11.2 million from the second quarter of 2020, or 12.1 percent. Net interest margin, on a tax equivalent basis, totaling 3.22 percent, increased by 3 basis points compared to the second quarter of 2020. Yields on earning assets for the second quarter totaled 3.49 percent and cost of supporting liabilities totaled 27 basis points. Fair value accretion contributed less to margin as it accounted for 7 basis points in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 12 basis points in the second quarter of 2020. PPP loans contributed 15 basis points to margin during the second quarter of 2021, but subtracted 6 basis points from margin in the same quarter of 2020.

Non-interest income totaled $30.9 million for the quarter, a $4.4 million increase over the second quarter of 2020. Gains from the sale of mortgage loans were exceptionally strong and enhanced by a large portfolio mortgage loan sale contributing a gain of $2.9 million during the quarter. Fiduciary and wealth management fees increased $1.9 million over the second quarter of 2020, which was offset by a decline in card payment fees due to the adoption of the Durbin Amendment. Non-interest expense totaled $69.3 million for the quarter compared to $60 million in the second quarter of 2020 and $66.1 million in the first quarter of 2021. Total expenses in the second quarter of 2020 were unusually low and reflected a $2.3 million deferral of salary expense related to PPP loan originations, a $1.1 million reduction in bonus accruals and a $1.6 million decrease in processing fees related to termination of a debit card rewards program. Total expenses increased on a linked quarter basis primarily due to increased salaries and incentives.

The loan to deposit ratio now totals 74.9 percent and loan to asset ratio totals 61.3 percent. As of June 30, 2021, the Corporation’s total risk-based capital ratio equaled 14.23 percent, the common equity tier 1 capital ratio equaled 11.94 percent, and the tangible common equity ratio totaled 9.04 percent. These ratios continue to reflect the Corporation’s strong liquidity and capital positions.