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West Bancorporation, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTBA; the “Company”), parent company of West Bank, reported 2018 record net income of $28.5 million, or $1.74 per diluted common share, compared to 2017 net income of $23.1 million, or $1.41 per diluted common share. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $7.2 million, or $0.44 per diluted common share. This compares to fourth quarter 2017 net income of $4.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted common share. An additional tax provision of $2.3 million was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to the revaluation of our deferred tax assets as a result of the changes in tax laws that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2017. The tax law changes reduced the Company’s federal income tax rate from 35 percent in 2017 to 21 percent in 2018. On January 23, 2019, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.20 per common share. The dividend is payable on February 20, 2019, to stockholders of record on February 6, 2019.
“We believe the Company’s ability to successfully execute our community banking initiatives has helped us reach another financial milestone as we report record earnings for 2018,” commented Dave Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “Earnings benefited from loan growth and the lower corporate income tax rate but continued to be tempered by rising interest rates and the resulting increased cost of funds. Management remains committed to achieving a high level of earnings and creating value for our stockholders.” In addition, Dave Nelson commented, “West Bank would like to congratulate Eastern Iowa Market President, Jim Conard, for being recognized by the Corridor Business Journal as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor.”
Brad Winterbottom, West Bank President, said, “We are seeing strong growth opportunities, and the overall economic conditions in our communities remain favorable. West Bank had strong loan growth of $121.0 million, or 7.6 percent, in the fourth quarter and $211.3 million, or 14.0 percent, for the year in 2018. We believe West Bank is well positioned to continue developing healthy organic loan growth while maintaining a disciplined approach to credit quality.”
Eastern Iowa Market President, Jim Conard, commented, “The Eastern Iowa commercial banking team had a record year in terms of loan production. Our relationships with many of the area’s leading local developers, real estate investors, and business leaders resulted in a number of new business transactions that grew our market’s total loan portfolio by 31.3 percent in 2018. Our pipeline of pending business transactions remains strong, and we believe that we will continue to see healthy growth in loans and deposits in 2019.”
“We are very pleased with another strong year and fourth quarter for West Bank in Rochester, and look forward to extending the momentum into 2019,” said Mike Zinser, West Bank’s Rochester Market President. “Our year-end 2018 loans outstanding in Rochester increased 22.9 percent and our deposits increased 35.6 percent compared to the prior year-end. While nearly all of our loan growth was from business banking, much of our deposit growth was from a large inflow of high value personal deposits through our high service, concierge-type banking model, which continues to gain traction.” Zinser concluded, “Coming into 2019, our team has built a strong pipeline with good strategies in place to continue driving new business and build upon our solid reputation and brand in Rochester.”