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Merchants Bancshares Q4 earnings up

Merchants Bancshares has reported a net income of $3.06m

Merchants Bancshares, the parent company of Merchants Bank, has reported a net income of $3.06 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, compared to $2.92 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, for the same quarter in 2007.

Net income was $11.92 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared with $10.86 million, or $1.76 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2007.

Net interest income increased $5.44 million to $43.65 million for 2008 compared to 2007, a 14% increase, and increased $2.47 million to $12.10 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to 2007, a 26% increase.

Net interest margin increased to 3.58% for 2008, compared to 3.56% for 2007, and increased 37 basis points to 3.81% for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to 3.44% for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Michael Tuttle, president and CEO, said: 2008 was a strong year for us, with EPS up 11% compared to 2007, in spite of a very challenging economic climate. We experienced solid growth in both loans and deposits during the year. Merchants Bank presented a safe, stable, secure profile in contrast to the volatility evident in the daily headlines.