First Merchants Reports Record Income

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First Merchants' acquisition of Ameriana Bancorp contributed to the company's growth. First Merchants' acquisition of Ameriana Bancorp contributed to the company's growth.

Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) is reporting record net income of $65.4 million in 2015, up from $60.2 million in 2014. Chief Executive Officer Michael Rechin says two acquisitions and increased digital banking capacity contributed to the results.

The company is also reporting fourth quarter 2015 net income of $14.2 million, down from $15.3 million during the same period in the previous year. The company says the fourth quarter numbers included expenses related to the closing of its acquisition of New Castle-based Ameriana Bancorp. (Nasdaq: ASBI).

"Our 2015 was very active, productive, and successful," said Rechin. "We are pleased to have recorded earnings per share of $1.72, after recording $.17 of merger, integration and system conversion expenses during the year. We look forward to completing the Ameriana system conversion on March 11, 2016, and proving our progress through reported numbers in the second quarter of 2016."

The $70.4 million merger will see Ameriana Bank locations be integrated into the First Merchants brand during the first quarter of 2016.

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