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First Business Reports Record 2014 Net Income $14.1 Million

MADISON, WI, – Jan. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – First Business Financial Services, Inc. (the “Company” or “First Business”) (NASDAQ: FBIZ), the parent company of First Business Bank, First Business Bank – Milwaukee and Alterra Bank, today reported strong fourth quarter and year-to-date results, including two months of contribution from Alterra Bank (“Alterra”), the Company’s Leawood, Kansas-based business banking subsidiary acquired on November 1, 2014. First Business, excluding the additional impact of Alterra, grew loans and top line revenue to record levels while reducing problem assets.

Highlights for the quarter ended December 31, 2014 include:

  • Net income totaled $3.7 million, including $566,000 in pre-tax merger-related costs recorded for the fourth quarter of 2014. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2013 totaled $3.8 million.
  • Annualized return on average assets and annualized return on average equity measured 0.95% and 10.92%, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Top line revenue, consisting of net interest income and non-interest income, increased 26% to a record $16.6 million, compared to $13.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Excluding two months of contribution from Alterra, fourth quarter 2014 top line revenue totaled a record $14.0 million, reflecting organic growth of 7% compared to the final quarter of 2013.
  • Excluding 48 Alterra employees added in November, the Company’s full-time equivalent employees (“FTEs”) increased to 167 at December 31, 2014 from 145 at December 31, 2013, contributing to a 26% increase in compensation expense compared to the prior year quarter.
  • The Company’s fourth quarter efficiency ratio measured 61%, including merger-related costs, compared to 56% for the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Net loans and leases grew for the eleventh consecutive quarter, reaching a record $1.266 billion at December 31, 2014, up 31% from December 31, 2013.
  • Excluding Alterra, net loans and leases were a record $1.070 billion at December 31, 2014, increasing 11% from the prior year end and 16%, annualized, from the linked quarter.
  • Net interest margin increased to 3.67% for the fourth quarter of 2014, including the favorable impact of 11 basis points related to the net accretion/amortization on purchase accounting adjustments of $392,000 on Alterra loans, deposits and borrowings.
  • Loan loss provision was $1.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to a negative provision of $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Non-performing assets as a percent of total assets declined to 0.70% at December 31, 2014, from 1.28% at December 31, 2013.
  • The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2014 was 28%, reflecting the utilization of new market federal tax credits, compared to 35% for the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Company recorded net income of $3.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $3.6 million earned in the third quarter of 2014 and $3.8 million earned in the fourth quarter of 2013. Diluted earnings per common share were $0.89 for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $0.89 for the linked quarter and $0.95 for the prior year quarter. Fourth quarter 2014 results include the impact of $566,000 in non-recurring, pre-tax merger expenses related to the Company’s recently completed acquisition of Alterra, which contributed $396,000 to consolidated net income during the final two months of the quarter.

The Company’s net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was a record $14.1 million, or $3.51 per diluted common share, compared to $13.7 million, or $3.49 per diluted common share, earned for the year ended December 31, 2013. Full year 2014 results include $990,000 in non-recurring, pre-tax merger expenses and $396,000 in net income contribution from Alterra during the final two months of the year.

“Again in 2014, First Business ended the year with stronger second-half earnings, resulting in record net income for the fourth consecutive year,” said Corey Chambas, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Robust loan growth in the fourth quarter by our Wisconsin bank subsidiaries highlights the strength of our franchise and team, which was further enhanced by the productivity of business development officers hired earlier in the year. With Alterra now on board and a solid pipeline heading into 2015, we will be both prudent and entrepreneurial in capitalizing on continued organic growth opportunities across our markets. In 2015, we will continue to pursue high-quality loan growth while emphasizing the exceptional asset quality that is core to the consistent success of our franchise.”

Read full press release at: https://www.snl.com/irweblinkx/file.aspx?IID=1021886&FID=27346998 

About First Business
First Business Financial Services is a Wisconsin-based bank holding company, focused on the unique needs of businesses, business executives and high net worth individuals. First Business offers commercial banking, specialty finance and private wealth management solutions, and because of its niche focus, is able to provide its clients with unmatched expertise, accessibility and responsiveness. For additional information, visit www.firstbusiness.com.

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