Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Announces First Quarter Results

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Merchants Bancshares, Inc.

    BURLINGTON, Vt., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Merchants Bancshares, Inc.
 (Nasdaq:   MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net
 income of $2.57 million, or diluted earnings per share of 63 cents for the
 quarter ended March 31, 2001, compared to net income of $2.48 million, or 58
 cents per diluted share for the previous year.  Income before non-recurring
 income and expenses and amortization of intangibles for the first quarter of
 2001 increased to $2.51 million, or diluted earnings of 62 cents per share,
 versus $2.44 million, or 57 cents per diluted share for the first quarter of
 2000.  The return on average assets was 1.39 percent and the return on average
 equity was 15.01 percent for the first quarter of 2001. The Company declared a
 dividend on April 19, 2001, of 33 cents per share payable May 17, 2001, to
 shareholders of record as of May 3, 2001.
     "We are pleased to report continued strong earnings per share despite a
 slowing national economy," said Merchants Bank President and CEO Joseph L.
 Boutin. Net interest income increased $296 thousand (4 percent) over the same
 quarter in 2000.  The net interest margin was 4.91 percent for the quarter, up
 13 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2000. "We have experienced
 improvement in the margin, even though deposit rates in the markets we serve
 did not decrease in line with the 150 basis point movement by the Federal
 Reserve," continued Boutin.
     Nonperforming Assets were $3.33 million, .45 percent of total assets.
 "Vermont's economy continues to grow and expand, contrary to national trends.
 Asset quality remains strong partly because of our conservative credit
 standards and also because of our healthy local economy," continued Boutin.
     Quarterly average deposits at March 31, 2001, were 6 percent higher than
 the same quarter in 2000, and quarterly average loans were 5 percent higher.
 "We continue to see growth in new accounts, but at a slower pace than last
 year.  We have retained a national marketing firm to enhance and expand our
 direct response effort, which is the mainstay of our account development
 program," said Boutin.
     Total assets of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. are $747 million. The stock is
 traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. The mission
 of Merchants Bank is to provide Vermonters with community banking anytime,
 anyplace, any way. This commitment is fulfilled through a community, branch-
 based, system that includes 34 bank offices throughout the state of Vermont,
 employees dedicated to quality customer service, and innovative banking
 products such as FreedomLYNX(R) checking, MoneyLYNX(R) money market accounts,
 and CommerceLYNX(R) small business products. Merchants Bank also includes a
 trust, investment and discount brokerage division, known as Merchants Trust
 Company, which provides services to individuals and institutions. Member FDIC.
 
                           Merchants Bancshares, Inc.
                              Financial Highlights
                      For the period ended March 31, 2001
                 (In thousands except share and per share data)
 
                            03/31/01     12/31/00      03/31/00     12/31/99
     Balance Sheets - Period End
     Total Assets          $746,796      $746,347     $722,407      $701,363
     Loans                  475,685       478,489      457,936       453,692
     Reserve for Possible
      Loan Losses (RPLL)     10,140        10,494       11,141        11,189
     Net Loans              465,545       467,995      446,795       442,503
     Investment Securities  194,825       210,059      203,938       199,585
     Fed Funds Sold and
      Securities Purchased
      Under Resale
      Agreements             26,500         2,700        4,500            --
     Other Real Estate Owned    271           377          125           133
     Other Assets            59,655        65,216       67,049        59,142
     Deposits               668,560       663,113      635,758       613,243
     Short-term Borrowings      956         5,816       13,830        11,000
     Long-term Debt           1,297         1,300        1,339         6,371
     Other Liabilities        6,129         8,668        6,654         6,013
     Stockholders' Equity    69,854        67,450       64,826        64,736
 
     Balance Sheets - Quarter-to-Date Averages
     Total Assets          $738,369      $744,100     $706,217      $696,026
     Loans                  476,079       477,574      455,372       450,376
     Reserve for Possible
      Loan Losses            10,445        10,524       11,208        11,352
     Net Loans              465,634       467,050      444,164       439,024
     Investment Securities  204,490       210,009      202,792       196,173
     Interest Earning
      Assets                693,738       695,705      661,980       650,334
     Total Deposits         657,690       662,790      617,873       607,420
     Borrowings               3,877         5,428       18,114        18,282
     Interest Bearing
      Liabilities           577,846       579,220      552,098       538,640
     Stockholders' Equity    68,254        66,732       64,239        63,969
 
     Ratios and Supplemental Information
     Book Value Per Share    $17.05        $16.46       $15.15        $14.92
     Tier I Leverage Ratio    9.03%         8.76%        9.03%         9.09%
 
     Credit Quality - Period End
     Nonperforming Loans
      (NPLs)                 $3,054        $3,505       $4,095        $3,688
     Nonperforming Assets
      (NPAs)                  3,325         3,883        4,220         3,821
     NPLs as a % of Total
      Loans                   0.64%         0.73%        0.89%         0.81%
     NPAs as a % of Total
      Assets                  0.45%         0.52%        0.58%         0.54%
     RPLL as a % of NPLs       332%          299%         272%          303%
     RPLL as a % of NPAs       305%          270%         264%          293%
 
 
                                                       For the Three Months
                                                          Ended March 31,
                                                        2001          2000
     Interest Income
     Interest and Fees on Loans                       $10,229        $10,024
     Interest on Investments                            3,585          3,417
     Total Interest Income                             13,814         13,441
 
     Interest Expense
     Deposits                                           5,394          4,995
     Short-term Borrowings                                 34            210
     Long-term Debt                                        11            157
     Total Interest Expense                             5,439          5,362
     Net Interest Income                                8,375          8,079
     Provision for Possible Loan Losses                 (112)          (357)
     Net Interest Income After Provision for
      Possible Loan Losses                              8,487          8,436
 
     Noninterest Income
     Trust Company Income                                 400            432
     Service Charges on Deposits                          943            846
     Other                                                485            332
     Total Noninterest Income                           1,828          1,610
 
     Noninterest Expense
     Salaries and Employee Benefits                     3,371          3,429
     Occupancy and Equipment Expenses                   1,252          1,209
     Legal and Professional Fees                          341            264
     Marketing                                            318            311
     Equity in Losses of Real Estate
      Limited Partnerships                                200            150
     Expenses Other Real Estate Owned                      90             59
     Other                                              1,343          1,310
     Total Noninterest Expense                          6,915          6,732
     Income Before Income Taxes                         3,400          3,314
     Income Taxes                                         828            832
     Net Income                                        $2,572         $2,482
 
     Ratios and Supplemental Information
     Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding     4,099,055      4,301,255
     Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding    4,111,937      4,305,212
     Basic Earnings Per Common Share                    $0.63          $0.58
     Diluted Earnings Per Common Share                   0.63           0.58
     Return on Average Assets                           1.39%          1.41%
     Return on Average Stockholders' Equity            15.01%         15.45%
     Net Interest Rate Spread                           4.27%          4.23%
     Net Yield on Interest Earning Assets               4.91%          4.87%
     Efficiency Ratio (1)                              61.82%         62.91%
 
     (1) The efficiency ratio excludes amortization of intangibles, OREO
         expenses, gain/loss on sale of securities, state franchise taxes, and
         any significant nonrecurring items.
     Note:  As of March 31, 2001, the Bank had off-balance sheet liabilities in
            the form of standby letters of credit to customers in the amount of
            $6.6 million.
 
 

SOURCE Merchants Bancshares, Inc.
    BURLINGTON, Vt., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Merchants Bancshares, Inc.
 (Nasdaq:   MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net
 income of $2.57 million, or diluted earnings per share of 63 cents for the
 quarter ended March 31, 2001, compared to net income of $2.48 million, or 58
 cents per diluted share for the previous year.  Income before non-recurring
 income and expenses and amortization of intangibles for the first quarter of
 2001 increased to $2.51 million, or diluted earnings of 62 cents per share,
 versus $2.44 million, or 57 cents per diluted share for the first quarter of
 2000.  The return on average assets was 1.39 percent and the return on average
 equity was 15.01 percent for the first quarter of 2001. The Company declared a
 dividend on April 19, 2001, of 33 cents per share payable May 17, 2001, to
 shareholders of record as of May 3, 2001.
     "We are pleased to report continued strong earnings per share despite a
 slowing national economy," said Merchants Bank President and CEO Joseph L.
 Boutin. Net interest income increased $296 thousand (4 percent) over the same
 quarter in 2000.  The net interest margin was 4.91 percent for the quarter, up
 13 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2000. "We have experienced
 improvement in the margin, even though deposit rates in the markets we serve
 did not decrease in line with the 150 basis point movement by the Federal
 Reserve," continued Boutin.
     Nonperforming Assets were $3.33 million, .45 percent of total assets.
 "Vermont's economy continues to grow and expand, contrary to national trends.
 Asset quality remains strong partly because of our conservative credit
 standards and also because of our healthy local economy," continued Boutin.
     Quarterly average deposits at March 31, 2001, were 6 percent higher than
 the same quarter in 2000, and quarterly average loans were 5 percent higher.
 "We continue to see growth in new accounts, but at a slower pace than last
 year.  We have retained a national marketing firm to enhance and expand our
 direct response effort, which is the mainstay of our account development
 program," said Boutin.
     Total assets of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. are $747 million. The stock is
 traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. The mission
 of Merchants Bank is to provide Vermonters with community banking anytime,
 anyplace, any way. This commitment is fulfilled through a community, branch-
 based, system that includes 34 bank offices throughout the state of Vermont,
 employees dedicated to quality customer service, and innovative banking
 products such as FreedomLYNX(R) checking, MoneyLYNX(R) money market accounts,
 and CommerceLYNX(R) small business products. Merchants Bank also includes a
 trust, investment and discount brokerage division, known as Merchants Trust
 Company, which provides services to individuals and institutions. Member FDIC.
 
                           Merchants Bancshares, Inc.
                              Financial Highlights
                      For the period ended March 31, 2001
                 (In thousands except share and per share data)
 
                            03/31/01     12/31/00      03/31/00     12/31/99
     Balance Sheets - Period End
     Total Assets          $746,796      $746,347     $722,407      $701,363
     Loans                  475,685       478,489      457,936       453,692
     Reserve for Possible
      Loan Losses (RPLL)     10,140        10,494       11,141        11,189
     Net Loans              465,545       467,995      446,795       442,503
     Investment Securities  194,825       210,059      203,938       199,585
     Fed Funds Sold and
      Securities Purchased
      Under Resale
      Agreements             26,500         2,700        4,500            --
     Other Real Estate Owned    271           377          125           133
     Other Assets            59,655        65,216       67,049        59,142
     Deposits               668,560       663,113      635,758       613,243
     Short-term Borrowings      956         5,816       13,830        11,000
     Long-term Debt           1,297         1,300        1,339         6,371
     Other Liabilities        6,129         8,668        6,654         6,013
     Stockholders' Equity    69,854        67,450       64,826        64,736
 
     Balance Sheets - Quarter-to-Date Averages
     Total Assets          $738,369      $744,100     $706,217      $696,026
     Loans                  476,079       477,574      455,372       450,376
     Reserve for Possible
      Loan Losses            10,445        10,524       11,208        11,352
     Net Loans              465,634       467,050      444,164       439,024
     Investment Securities  204,490       210,009      202,792       196,173
     Interest Earning
      Assets                693,738       695,705      661,980       650,334
     Total Deposits         657,690       662,790      617,873       607,420
     Borrowings               3,877         5,428       18,114        18,282
     Interest Bearing
      Liabilities           577,846       579,220      552,098       538,640
     Stockholders' Equity    68,254        66,732       64,239        63,969
 
     Ratios and Supplemental Information
     Book Value Per Share    $17.05        $16.46       $15.15        $14.92
     Tier I Leverage Ratio    9.03%         8.76%        9.03%         9.09%
 
     Credit Quality - Period End
     Nonperforming Loans
      (NPLs)                 $3,054        $3,505       $4,095        $3,688
     Nonperforming Assets
      (NPAs)                  3,325         3,883        4,220         3,821
     NPLs as a % of Total
      Loans                   0.64%         0.73%        0.89%         0.81%
     NPAs as a % of Total
      Assets                  0.45%         0.52%        0.58%         0.54%
     RPLL as a % of NPLs       332%          299%         272%          303%
     RPLL as a % of NPAs       305%          270%         264%          293%
 
 
                                                       For the Three Months
                                                          Ended March 31,
                                                        2001          2000
     Interest Income
     Interest and Fees on Loans                       $10,229        $10,024
     Interest on Investments                            3,585          3,417
     Total Interest Income                             13,814         13,441
 
     Interest Expense
     Deposits                                           5,394          4,995
     Short-term Borrowings                                 34            210
     Long-term Debt                                        11            157
     Total Interest Expense                             5,439          5,362
     Net Interest Income                                8,375          8,079
     Provision for Possible Loan Losses                 (112)          (357)
     Net Interest Income After Provision for
      Possible Loan Losses                              8,487          8,436
 
     Noninterest Income
     Trust Company Income                                 400            432
     Service Charges on Deposits                          943            846
     Other                                                485            332
     Total Noninterest Income                           1,828          1,610
 
     Noninterest Expense
     Salaries and Employee Benefits                     3,371          3,429
     Occupancy and Equipment Expenses                   1,252          1,209
     Legal and Professional Fees                          341            264
     Marketing                                            318            311
     Equity in Losses of Real Estate
      Limited Partnerships                                200            150
     Expenses Other Real Estate Owned                      90             59
     Other                                              1,343          1,310
     Total Noninterest Expense                          6,915          6,732
     Income Before Income Taxes                         3,400          3,314
     Income Taxes                                         828            832
     Net Income                                        $2,572         $2,482
 
     Ratios and Supplemental Information
     Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding     4,099,055      4,301,255
     Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding    4,111,937      4,305,212
     Basic Earnings Per Common Share                    $0.63          $0.58
     Diluted Earnings Per Common Share                   0.63           0.58
     Return on Average Assets                           1.39%          1.41%
     Return on Average Stockholders' Equity            15.01%         15.45%
     Net Interest Rate Spread                           4.27%          4.23%
     Net Yield on Interest Earning Assets               4.91%          4.87%
     Efficiency Ratio (1)                              61.82%         62.91%
 
     (1) The efficiency ratio excludes amortization of intangibles, OREO
         expenses, gain/loss on sale of securities, state franchise taxes, and
         any significant nonrecurring items.
     Note:  As of March 31, 2001, the Bank had off-balance sheet liabilities in
            the form of standby letters of credit to customers in the amount of
            $6.6 million.
 
 SOURCE  Merchants Bancshares, Inc.