Earnings up 22% at Old National

The Evansville-based holding company for Old National Bank on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $29.1 million, or 26 cents a share – a nearly 22 percent increase from the same period a year ago when earnings were $23.9 million.

Old National Bancorp’s board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 11 cents a share on the company’s outstanding shares.

“For the second consecutive quarter, strong organic loan growth and a strong loan pipeline served as the catalyst for Old National’s earnings success,” Old National President and CEO Bob Jones said in a statement.

“It’s also worth noting that our earnings of $29.1 million exceeded analysts’ consensus estimates.”

Lakeland Financialsees earnings jump

Lakeland Financial Corp. of Warsaw on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $11.5 million, a nearly 18 percent increase from the $9.8 million reported year ago during the same period.

Diluted net income per common share rose 17 percent to 69 cents, compared with 59 cents during the same period in 2013. The quarterly earnings and per-share performance represents a record level for the company.

”We are pleased with both the strength and quality of our record earnings performance in 2014,” David M. Findlay, president and CEO, said in a statement. “The expansion of our Indiana footprint, as well as our increased market share growth in every market we serve, has contributed to our success in 2014.”

Modest rise seenin home contracts

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes ticked up only slightly in September, as it remained difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.3 percent over the past month to 105. The index remains a half-percentage point below its 2013 average, although 1 percent higher than a year ago.

Tight credit and price increases through the middle of 2013 have limited buying activity.

About 15 percent of the real estate agents surveyed for the index said they couldn’t close a deal because the buyer was unable to obtain a mortgage. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases.

Valeant hikes bidfor Botox maker

The Canadian drugmaker Valeant said it would be willing to raise its takeover bid for Allergan by almost 12 percent, which would mean $200 or more a share for the maker of Botox.

The letter to Allergan’s board Monday did not break down the exact terms of the new offer, but Valeant said the increase would consist of added “consideration” and expected appreciation of Valeant’s own stock to be used in any deal.

The letter was released publicly just before Allergan released its third-quarter earnings, which topped Wall Street expectations.

Allergan said in a written statement that Valeant has not made a firm higher offer and the letter was intended to “distract investors from Allergan’s outstanding third quarter results.”