Associated Banc-Corp earnings up 28%

Fourth quarter caps strong year

The Milwaukee Associated Banc-Corp offices.

Green Bay-based Associated Banc-Corp on Thursday reported a 28 percent boost in fourth quarter earnings.

The Milwaukee Associated Banc-Corp offices.
The Milwaukee Associated Banc-Corp offices.

The company, which operates more than 200 Associated Bank branches in the Midwest, reported net income of $54.8 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, up 28 percent from $42.8 million, or 27 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015. The EPS beat the Seeking Alpha analyst consensus estimate by 2 cents.

Net interest income was $180 million, up from $171.5 million in the same period a year ago. Noninterest income totaled $92.3 million, up 11 percent from $83 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, led by higher mortgage banking, capital market fees and bank-owned life insurance income.

Average loans were $20 billion in the fourth quarter, up 8 percent year-over-year.

For the full year, net income was $200.3 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, up 6 percent from $188.3 million, or $1.19 per share, in 2015.

Average loans totaled $19.7 billion, up 8 percent from 2015, driven by commercial lending growth.

Associated Banc-Corp’s assets increased to $29.1 billion as of Dec. 31, up from $27.7 billion at the end of 2015.

“We are pleased to report full year results in line with our guidance,” said Philip Flynn, president and chief executive officer. “We delivered loan, revenue and bottom line growth in 2016. We ended the year with over $20 billion of loans, a new high-water mark for us, reflecting 8 percent annual average loan growth. Our commercial real estate, residential lending, and capital markets businesses, in particular, performed well.

“We grew earnings throughout the year and finished strong driven by higher revenues in the second half of the year. We improved our efficiency ratio for the fifth consecutive year. With another successful year now behind us, we remain committed to delivering quality solutions for our customers and communities.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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