January 10, 2012

Wisconsin stocks struggle in 2011, but three Madison companies were among the top 10 gainers

With the U.S. economy still struggling through a slow recovery and the European Union fighting for economic stability, 2011 was a turbulent year for the market, and Wisconsin stocks reflected that.

Of the 65 publicly traded companies in Wisconsin, 23 of them, or 34 percent, ended the year with their shares trading higher. That’s the worst showing since 2008, when only seven had gains.

Calculated together, the stocks in Bloomberg’s Wisconsin index fell 11 percent.

"I would have to look at this as a disappointing year," said Todd Parrish, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co., Milwaukee. "If this was a mutual fund that you bought, it would be a pretty bad performance."

In nationwide indices, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 5.5 percent for the year but the Nasdaq composite index dipped 1.8 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended 2011 at about the same point it started, off 0.04 point.

Among Wisconsin stocks, three Madison companies were among the top 10 gainers:

* Exact Sciences Corp. shares ended at $8.12, up from $5.98. The 35.8 percent gain was the second biggest increase. The biotech company is working on a noninvasive test for colorectal cancer.

* First Business Financial Services, parent company of First Business Bank, saw its stock rise to $16.50 from $12.79, up 29 percent.

* Alliant Energy Corp. shares closed the year at $44.11, up from $36.77, a 20 percent rise.
About First Business Financial Services, Inc.

First Business Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:FBIZ) is a Wisconsin-based bank holding company, focused on the unique needs of businesses, business executives, and high net worth individuals. First Business offers commercial banking, specialty finance, and private wealth management solutions, and because of its niche focus, is able to provide its clients with unmatched expertise, accessibility, and responsiveness. For additional information, visit www.firstbusiness.com or call (608) 238-8008.

The First Business Financial Services, Inc. logo is available at http://www.firstbusiness.com/logo

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Corporation's plans, estimates and beliefs. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "objective" and similar expressions and verbs in the future tense are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The statements contained in this press release involve or may involve certain assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Corporation's control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are only made as of the date hereof, and the Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. In addition to the assumptions and other factors referenced specifically in connection with such statements, the factors described in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and the following factors could impact the business and financial prospects of the Corporation: general economic conditions; legislative and regulatory initiatives; increased competition and other effects of deregulation and consolidation of the financial services industry; monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government; deposit flows; disintermediation; the cost and availability of funds; general market rates of interest; interest rates or investment returns on competing investments; demand for loan products; demand for financial services; changes in accounting policies or guidelines; general economic developments; acts of terrorism and developments in the war on terrorism; and changes in the quality or composition of loan and investment portfolios.

Jim Ropella
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
First Business Financial Services, Inc.