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Heartland Financial reports Q4 net loss

A net loss of $2.7 million is reported

Heartland Financial USA has reported a net loss of $2.7 million, or $0.18 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to a net income of $6.8 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, earned during the fourth quarter of 2007.

Return on average common equity was negative 5.12% and return on average assets was negative 0.33% for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to 11.86% and 0.83%, respectively, for the same quarter in 2007.

The company said that earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008 were significantly impacted by the provision for loan losses which was $15.1 million compared to $3.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Net interest income on a tax-equivalent basis totalled $30.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of $1.8 million, or 6% from the $28.4 million recorded during the fourth quarter of 2007. Net interest margin was 3.79% during the quarter, as compared to 3.87% for the same quarter of 2007.

Net income recorded for the year 2008 was $11.3 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared to $25.6 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, recorded during the year 2007. Return on average equity was 4.84% and return on average assets was 0.33% for the year 2008, compared to 11.88% and 0.81%, respectively, for the year 2007.

For the year 2008, net interest income on a tax-equivalent basis was $119.5 million, an increase of $6.5 million, or 6% from the $113 million, recorded during the year 2007. For the year 2008, net interest margin was 3.89% during 2008 and 3.95% during 2007.