Mercantile Bank Corp. has a market cap of $78.76 million; its shares were traded at around $9.16 with and P/S ratio of 0.81.
Highlight of Business Operations:To date we have raised capital from our initial public offering of common stock in October 1997, a public offering of common stock in July 1998, three private placements of common stock during 2001, a public offering of common stock in August 2001 and a public offering of common stock in September 2003. In addition, we raised capital through a public offering of $16.0 million of trust preferred securities in 1999, which was refinanced as part of a $32.0 million private placement of trust preferred securities in 2004. In May 2009, we raised $21.0 million from the sale of preferred stock and a warrant for common stock to the United States Treasury Department under the Capital Purchase Program. Our expenses have generally been paid using the proceeds of the capital sales and dividends from our bank. Our principal source of future operating funds is expected to be dividends from our bank.
The Board of Directors has delegated significant lending authority to officers of our bank. The Board of Directors believes this empowerment, supported by our strong credit culture and the significant experience of our commercial lending staff, makes us responsive to our customers. The loan policy currently specifies lending authority for certain officers up to $5.0 million, and $10.0 million for our banks Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer; however, the $10.0 million lending authority is generally used only in rare circumstances where timing is of the essence. Generally, loan requests exceeding $2.5 million require approval by the Officers Loan Committee, and loan requests exceeding $4.0 million, up to the legal lending limit of approximately $38.4 million, require approval by the Board of Directors. In most circumstances, we apply an in-house lending limit that is significantly less than our banks legal lending limit.
Our independent loan and lease review program is primarily responsible for the administration of the grading system and ensuring adherence to established lending policies and procedures. The loan and lease review program is an integral part of maintaining our strong asset quality culture. The loan and lease review function works closely with senior management, although it functionally reports to the Board of Directors. All commercial loan and lease relationships equal to or exceeding $1.8 million are formally reviewed every twelve months, with a random sampling performed on credits under $1.8 million. Our watch list credits are reviewed monthly by our Board of Directors and our Watch List Committee, the latter of which is comprised of personnel from the administration, lending and loan and lease review functions.
Loans and leases are placed in a nonaccrual status when, in our opinion, uncertainty exists as to the ultimate collection of principal and interest. As of December 31, 2010, loans and leases placed in nonaccrual status totaled $63.9 million, or 5.1% of total loans and leases. As of the same date, loans and leases past due 90 days or more and still accruing interest totaled $0.8 million, or 0.06% of total loans and leases.
Reflecting the stressed economic conditions and resulting negative impact on our loan and lease portfolio, we have substantially increased the allowance as a percent of the loan and lease portfolio over the past couple of years. The allowance equaled $45.4 million, or 3.59% of total loans and leases outstanding, as of December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2009, the allowance balance was higher at $47.9 million, but a lower 3.11% of total loans and leases. The allowance as a percent of total loans and leases was 1.46%, 1.43% and 1.23% at year-end 2008, 2007, and 2006, respectively. Although we believe the allowance is adequate to absorb losses as they arise, there can be no assurance that we will not sustain losses in any given period that could be substantial in relation to, or greater than, the size of the allowance.
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