January 26, 2017
First Busey Announces 2016 Fourth Quarter Earnings and Full Year Results

Champaign, IL – (Nasdaq: BUSE)

Message from our President & CEO


Pulaski merger leads to positive advances in the quarter ending December 31, 2016 from prior year:

· Net income available to common stockholders of $11.5 million, up 8.8%
· Average portfolio loans of $3.810 billion, up 46.8%
· Total net interest income of $44.6 million, up 50.8%
· Average non-interest bearing deposits of $1.060 billion, up 45.1%
· Total non-interest income of $19.0 million, up 16.5%
· Commercial loan growth of $834.6 million, up 42.5%
   
· January 2017 dividend of $0.18, up 5.9% from prior quarter
   
First Busey Corporation (the "Company") continued its steady earnings expansion with net income and net income available to common stockholders of $49.7 million, or $1.40 per diluted common share for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to net income of $39.0 million and net income available to common stockholders of $38.3 million, or $1.32 per diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2015.  The 2016 results benefitted from the acquisition of Pulaski Financial Corp. ("Pulaski"), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and the operations of its banking subsidiary, Pulaski Bank, National Association ("Pulaski Bank"), since the closing of the transaction on April 30, 2016.  The Company operated Pulaski Bank as a separate banking subsidiary from May 1, 2016 until November 4, 2016, when it was merged with and into Busey Bank.  At that time, Pulaski Bank's branches became branches of Busey Bank.
Overall, financial results of 2016 were significantly impacted by the Pulaski acquisition, resetting the baseline for financial performance in current and future periods in a multitude of positive ways.  At the date of the merger, the fair value of Pulaski's total assets was $1.6 billion, including $1.4 billion in loans, and $1.2 billion in deposits.  Net income before taxes was positively impacted by $5.8 million of Pulaski's purchase accounting amortization in 2016, net of amortization expense of intangibles.

The Company incurred $10.0 million in pre-tax expenses related to the Pulaski acquisition during 2016.  The level of such expenses is expected to decrease in future periods.  In addition, the Company incurred $2.8 million of notable pre-tax costs during 2016, from wealth management division restructuring, branch fixed asset impairments and losses on private equity investments, which were partially offset by favorable pre-tax amounts of $1.5 million relating to a gain on sale of other real estate owned and a security gain from a strategic bond trade.  Excluding these items, the Company's operating earnings1 for 2016 would have been $56.5 million or $1.60 per diluted common share.

The Company's net income and net income available to common stockholders was $11.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, or $0.30 per diluted common share.  The Company reported net income and net income available to common stockholders of $15.4 million, or $0.40 per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2016 and net income of $10.7 million and net income available to common stockholders of $10.5 million, or $0.36 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2015.

During the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company incurred $6.9 million of pre-tax expenses related to the Pulaski acquisition, which primarily impacted data processing, salaries, wages and employee benefits, and other operating expenses.  Additional notable pre-tax items incurred by the Company during the fourth quarter of 2016 included $0.3 million of branch fixed asset impairments related to previously announced changes to optimize the Company's branch network.  Excluding these items, the Company's operating earnings1 for the fourth quarter of 2016 would have been $15.8 million, or $0.41 per diluted common share.


1 Operating earnings, a non-GAAP financial measure


The following information was filed by First Busey Corp (BUSE) on Thursday, January 26, 2017 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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