MBT Financial reports 2017 earnings down


MONROE — MBT Financial Corp., the parent firm of Monroe Bank & Trust, reported 2017 earnings of $10.6 million, or 46 cents a share, down 27 percent from a year ago when it had a profit of $14.5 million, or 63 cents a share.

For the fourth quarter, the institution lost $144,000, or 1 cent a share, which compared with a profit of $3.6 million, or 16 cents a share for the same quarter a year ago.

MBT Financial reported its earnings last Thursday.

Net interest income, which is considered a prime metric for a bank and represents the difference between interest it earns on loans and the interest it pays out on deposits, was $40.1 million, up 6 percent from $37.6 million in 2016.

In the fourth quarter, MBT’s net interest income was $10.4 million, up 8 percent from the same period a year earlier when it had $9.6 million.

The bank’s provisions for loan losses in 2017 was a negative $700,000, which compared with a negative $2.2 million in 2016. In the fourth quarter, loan loss provisions were a negative $500,000, compared with a negative $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

MBT President and CEO Douglas Chaffin said the bank continues to see solid loan growth, and improvements in its net interest margin and well-controlled other expenses contributed to better earnings.

“Our new business pipeline remains strong, and we expect loan growth to continue in 2018, which should lead to further margin improvement,” he said.

MBT “will continue to keep our eyes open for the right opportunities to grow through strategic acquisitions, while remaining disciplined in that regard,” Mr. Chaffin added.

As part of its earnings announcement, the bank said it has authorized the repurchase of up to 2 million shares of its common stock, or about 8.7 percent of currently outstanding shares. The repurchase window begins Feb. 1 and will expire on Jan. 31, 2020.

In addition, the company declared a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share and a special dividend of 60 cents per share. Both will be paid as a single dividend on Feb. 15 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 8.