January 27, 2015
 
First Busey Announces 2014 Fourth Quarter Earnings and Full Year Results

 
Champaign, IL – (Nasdaq: BUSE)

 
Message from our President & CEO

 
Significant progress made from the year ended December 31, 2013:

·  Net income available to common stockholders of $32.0 million, up 27.7%
·  Non-performing loans of $9.0 million, down 48.1%
·  Fully-diluted earnings per common share of $0.37, up 27.6%
·  Total average gross loans of $2.301 billion, up 8.2%
·  Cash dividend paid per share of $0.19, up 58.3%
·  Non-interest bearing deposits of $666.6 million, up 21.8%

First Busey Corporation's net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $32.8 million and net income available to common stockholders was $32.0 million, or $0.37 per fully diluted common share, compared to net income of $28.7 million and net income available to common stockholders of $25.1 million, or $0.29 per fully-diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $7.6 million and net income available to common stockholders was $7.4 million, or $0.08 per fully-diluted common share.  Net income increased from the fourth quarter of 2013, when the Company reported net income of $6.9 million and net income available to common stockholders of $6.0 million, or $0.07 per fully-diluted common share.  For the third quarter of 2014, the Company reported net income of $9.1 million and net income available to common stockholders of $8.9 million, or $0.10 per fully-diluted common share.

On January 8, 2015, First Busey Corporation completed its acquisition of Herget Financial Corp. ("Herget"), headquartered in Pekin, Illinois.  During the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company incurred $0.4 million of acquisition expenses to complete this transaction, comprised primarily of legal, accounting, and system conversion costs.  In addition, during the current year the Company incurred approximately $0.2 million in costs exploring other strategic growth opportunities.

Additional non-recurring expenses during the quarter included $1.0 million in losses in private equity investments.  For the three year period ended December 31, 2014, cumulative net gains on private equity investments totaled $1.8 million, including the current year loss of $1.5 million.  Net income in the fourth quarter of 2014 was further influenced by $0.2 million in new training initiatives and $1.0 million related to corporate restructuring costs designed to address the changing needs of our organization as we continue to refine our operating model and seek to balance growth while maintaining efficiency.  Security gains of $0.8 million were recorded through the sale of securities to partially fund the additional costs during the quarter.

Net interest income of $26.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased from $25.9 million in the third quarter of 2014, and $25.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.  Net interest income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $101.6 million compared to $100.1 million for the same period of 2013.  Gross loans at December 31, 2014 increased $35.8 million from September 30, 2014, despite a drop in loans held for sale of $1.7 million during the period.  Gross loans increased to $2.416 billion at December 31, 2014 from $2.380 billion at September 30, 2014 and $2.295 billion at December 31, 2013.

Robust loan growth during 2013 pushed Small Business Lending Fund qualified credits above certain thresholds required to meaningfully reduce costs of the Company's preferred stock dividend beginning in 2014.  Dividends paid on the preferred stock totaled $0.7 million for the year end December 31, 2014 compared to $3.6 million for the comparable period of 2013.  In addition, credit quality and related costs continued to improve.  As net charge-offs and non-performing loans trended lower, the provision for loan loss was zero in the fourth quarter of 2014, consistent with the third quarter of 2014, and a decrease from $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.  For the year ended December 31, 2014, the provision for loan loss was $2.0 million, compared to $7.5 million for the same period of 2013.  With a continued commitment to the quality of assets and the strength of our balance sheet, near-term loan losses are expected to remain generally low.
 

The following information was filed by First Busey Corp (BUSE) on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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