Bankwell Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWFG) reported GAAP net income of $3.7 million or 48 cents per share for the first quarter of 2017, versus $3.0 million or 40 cents per share for the same period in 2016. The company's board of directors declared a 7 cents per share cash dividend, payable May 26, 2017, to shareholders of record on May 16, 2017. "Bankwell has begun the year with an outstanding first-quarter performance. Our strategy of disciplined growth continues to succeed as we increased loan balances at an annualized rate of 18%," Bankwell Financial Group President and CEO Christopher R. Gruseke said in a statement "We also achieved an important goal by crossing the 10% ROE threshold. Further, we are honored to have been recognized as the only Connecticut bank to be included in the 'Top 100 Best Performing Community Banks of 2016' nationwide by S & P Global," he said. First-quarter total revenue (net interest income plus non-interest income) reached $14.2 million versus $12.1 million in the same period last year, an 18% increase. Total gross loans exceeded $1.4 billion and grew at an annualized rate of 18% during the first quarter of 2017. Total assets approached $1.7 billion and grew at an annualized rate of 11% during the first quarter of 2017. Total deposits exceeded $1.3 billion and grew at an annualized ratio of 12% during the first quarter of 2017. The allowance for loan losses was $18.5 million and represents 1.30% of total loans. Nonperforming assets represented 0.28% of total assets as of March 31, 2017. Bankwell has a branch in Wilton.