November 5, 2013

Business news in brief, week of Nov. 3


---- — Beacon Credit Union donates $1,750 in Cass

Beacon Credit Union's third annual “Project Spotlight” charitable giving campaign sent funds to three county organizations.

A Cause for Paws was awarded first place in Cass County as the funding will be used towards all operation costs including veterinary expenses, spay and neuter, and obedience training.

Back-Roads Dog Rescue was awarded second place, and they plan to use the funds towards veterinary expenses and food for the rescued dogs and cats.

In third place was the Cass County 4-H Association Community Center Project. They plan to use their funding towards renovation of the existing 4-H Community Center.

Residents in the 12 participating Project Spotlight communities nominated worthwhile charitable organizations, community projects, and local non-for-profits that they believed deserved financial support. Community members were then able to vote for their favorite cause either online or in their local Beacon Credit Union branch.

The project in each community that received the most votes won $1,000 of funding from Beacon Credit Union. The second place winners in each community received $500 of funding, and the third place winners in each community received $250 of funding.

The total amount of money donated to charitable organizations in Northeast Indiana by Beacon Credit Union through Project Spotlight was $21,000.

Beacon Credit Union is a full service, locally owned credit union with 20 service offices, including two in Logansport.

First Farmers sees record 3Q earnings

CONVERSE — First Farmers Financial Corporation, parent company of First Farmers Bank & Trust with branches in Logansport and Galveston, announced record third quarter earnings of $4.0 million, or $2.24 per share for the period ending Sept. 30.

Through nine months, net income was also a record at $12.0 million, or $6.74 per share, an increase of $1.16 per share from the 2012 period.

Through September, operating revenues increased 11.4 percent to $40.7 million from the prior year while operating expenses increased 6.6 percent and the provision for credit losses fell 3.2 percent. Return on average assets and return on average equity were 1.4 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively.

Dividends of $0.39 per share were declared during the quarter and paid on Oct. 15. Average assets increased to $1.14 billion during the quarter, an increase of $39.6 million, or 3.6 percent, over the same quarter in 2012.

On Oct. 2, FINRA issued a stock trading symbol for First Farmers Financial Corp allowing it to trade on the OTCQB market. The symbol assigned by FINRA is FFMR and information such as current bid and ask as well as transaction data is available through brokerages and financial web sites.

On Oct. 23, First Farmers Financial Corporation completed a previously announced 2-for-1 stock split. Following the split, the company had 3,561,708 shares outstanding.

First Farmers Financial Corporation is a financial services holding company based in Converse. Its subsidiary, First Farmers Bank & Trust, operates 27 banking facilities in Indiana and Illinois.

‘Best Places to Work’ deadline nearing

INDIANAPOLIS — Employers still have time to enter the state’s annual competition naming the “Best Places to Work in Indiana.” The Indiana Chamber of Commerce program, in its ninth year, honors top companies in the state as determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys.

Companies need to have at least 15 Hoosier employees to be eligible. Out-of-state parent companies are also eligible to participate if at least 15 full-time employees are in Indiana.

The application deadline is Nov. 22. To apply, visit