Heartland Financial USA 3rd-qtr profit nearly doubles

Loan growth played role in earnings

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Heartland Financial USA on Tuesday reported a third-quarter net profit nearly what it earned in the same quarter of 2011.

The Dubuque-based corporate parent of Dubuque Bank and Trust Co., posted net income of $13.6 million, or 75 cents per share, for the quarter that ended on Sept. 30, up 85 percent from $7.4 million, or 20 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2011.

Net income recorded for the first nine months of 2012 was $37.4 million, or $2.24 per share, compared with $15.2 million, or 92 cents per share, during the first nine months of 2011.

Earnings for the quarter and the first nine months of 2012 were affected by the continued expansion of mortgage operations in new and existing markets, coupled with increased net interest income, reductions in provision for loan and lease losses, and increased securities gains.

Net charge-offs on loans during the third quarter were $536,000, down significantly from $4.1 million during the third quarter of 2011.

Lynn Fuller, Heartland Financial's chairman, president and CEO, said solid loan growth has been an important contributor to the company's performance this year.

"Our growth strategy emphasizes proactive business development, calling on potential new commercial, agri-business and  small business clients," Fuller said. "It's also worth noting that we have nearly achieved our lending goal of approximately $92 million with respect to the US Treasury's Small Business Lending Fund."

Nonperforming loans were $40.7 million, or 1.54 percent, of total loans and leases on Sept. 30, compared with $57.4 million, or 3.06 percent, of total loans and leases on Sept. 30, 2011.

Approximately 44 percent, or $17.9 million, of Heartland's nonperforming loans have individual loan balances exceeding $1 million. These nonperforming loans, involving nine borrowers, are primarily concentrated in Heartland's banks serving the Western states.

Heartland Financial also owns Citizens Finance, with offices in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Dubuque.

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