Bear State Financial, the holding company for Bear State Bank, reported a healthy first quarter profit of $4.9 million, up 47% from one year ago when the Little Rock-based bank posted net income of $3.3 million. Diluted earnings per common share for the first quarter of 2017 was $0.13, a 44% increase from $0.09 for the first quarter of 2016.
The lightly-traded public bank said it experienced record revenue of $23 million in its first quarter, a 12% improvement from a year ago. Growth in its loan portfolio and increases in deposit fee income paved the way for the positive financial news.
As of March 31, 2017, Bear State reported:
- Total assets were $2.17 billion, a 13% increase compared to $1.92 billion at March 31, 2016.
- Total loans were $1.64 billion, an increase of $180.2 million, or 12% compared to March 31, 2016.
- Investment securities were $250.5 million, an increase of $65.4 million, or 35% compared to March 31, 2016.
- Total deposits were $1.67 billion, a 4% increase compared to $1.61 billion at March 31, 2016.
Bear State’s efficiency ratio improved to 63% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 74% in the first quarter of 2016. A bank’s efficiency ratio is calculated by dividing the bank’s non-interest expenses by net income. Banks strive for lower efficiency ratios, which indicate a bank is earning more than it is spending. Also, the company’s core efficiency ratio improved to 56% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 72% one year ago.
Net interest income increased 11% during the quarter. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets improved to 0.87% compared to 1.23% in the first quarter of 2016.
Bear State’s share price was trading around $9.20 in early Thursday morning activity. The financial firm’s stock has traded in the $8.65 to $10.95 per share range over the last year.