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Simmons First posts 27% rise in 4th-quarter earnings

By Katie Doherty

This article was published January 24, 2013 at 8:37 a.m.

Simmons First National Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income came to $8 million, up 27.4 percent over the $6.3 million earned in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Diluted earnings per share were 48 cents, an about 30 percent increase from the 11 cents in the same period of 2011, the Pine Bluff-based financial holding company said in a statement.

For the year of 2012, net income was $27.7 million, compared with $25.4 million earned in 2011.

"There are many positives with our earnings announcement. Personally I believe the 27% net income growth is a major accomplishment,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J. Thomas May said in a statement. “Even more significant is the way it was accomplished through the execution of our strategic plan, which resulted in the deployment of our excess capital in two strategic acquisitions, continued improvement in our asset quality numbers that were already strong and new initiatives that were introduced in all eight of our banks that resulted in good growth in our loan portfolios and customer relationships."

The bank acquired Excel Bank of Sedalia, Mo., in October and Truman Bank of St. Louis in September.

Simmons First has community banks in El Dorado, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Lake Village, Pine Bluff, Rogers, Russellville and Searcy. The affiliate banks conduct financial operations from 96 offices in 55 communities in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas.

The company has scheduled a conference call to go over its earnings report for 3 p.m. Thursday. Those interested may listen by dialing (888) 438-5524. A replay of the call will be available through 5 p.m. Jan. 30 by dialing (888) 203-1112.

The code for the replay is 124917. The call will also be available in live or recorded forms on the company’s website, www.simmonsfirst.com.

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