MIDLAND, Mich. - Chemical Financial Corp. said it earned $5.5 million in the fourth quarter of 1994, up 10.7% over earnings the same time a year ago.

Earnings per share for the quarter were 59 cents, up 11.3% from the previous year.

The $1.6 billion-asset company's fourth-quarter earnings were positively affected by a 3.3% increase in net interest income and a 3.7% decrease in operating expenses over the same quarter in 1993, the company said.

For 1994, Chemical earned net income of $18.3 million, down from $19.3 million in 1993. The company said its 1993 income included a nonrecurring gain of $2 million from adopting accounting standards. Operating earnings in 1993 were $17.3 million.

For the year, net income per share was $1.97, compared with operating earnings per share of $1.86 in 1993 and total earnings per share in 1993 of $2.08.

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