Acquisition Drives First Merchants Profit Growth

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Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) is reporting full-year net income of $159 million in 2018, up from $96 million the previous year. The parent of First Merchants Bank says it hit record earnings per share for the year as it celebrates its 125th anniversary.

The bank is also reporting fourth quarter net income of $41.7 million, up from $24.4 million during the same period in 2017. Chief Executive Officer Michael Rechin says the company posted a "strong and balanced organic growth quarter."

"Quality low cost funding, loan growth and sound asset quality all contributed prominently in our record quarter capping off our record year. Our teammates connect with the needs of the marketplace and our communities while our execution produces results and efficiency," Rechin said in a news release. "We look forward to 2019 and extending our franchise into Michigan through our merger with Monroe Bank & Trust. We look to continue their tradition of superior service to Monroe’s communities through the combination of their skilled bankers and First Merchants’ delivery capabilities."

First Merchants announced its planned $291 million acquisition of Monroe Bank & Trust in October. The deal is expected to close early this year.

You can view the full earnings report by clicking here. Rechin will appear this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about the bank's success, including achieving $10 billion in assets and being ranked on the Forbes list of America's Best Banks. 

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