Simmons First National Corp. reported Thursday (Oct. 22) that third quarter profits more than doubled on the strength of the Pine Bluff regional banking group’s cost-cutting initiatives and acquisition-fueled loan growth.
For the period ended Sept. 30, the Arkansas regional bank posted net income of $21.6 million, or 72 cents per share, up 146% when compared to net income of $8.7 million, or 52 cents per share, a year ago. Overall, Simmons reported that core earnings, which exclude net after-tax expenses, rose by 139% to $25.6 million for the second quarter of 2015, an increase of $14.9 million from the same period a year ago.
“We continue to make good progress with our efficiency initiatives, both in revenue enhancement and in expense control,” said Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. “Our core efficiency ratio was 57.5 percent for the quarter and our core ROA was 1.33 percent.”
Following are other key items in the Simmons’ quarterly earnings report.
• Total loans, including those acquired, were $4.9 billion at Sept. 30, 2015, an increase of $2.1 billion, or 76%, compared with the same period in 2014. Legacy loans grew $876 million, or 44.6%. Acquired loans increased by $1.2 billion, net of discounts.
• At Sept. 30, 2015, total deposits were $6.1 billion, an increase of $2.2 billion, or 56% compared with the same period in 2014. Total non-time deposits were $4.7 billion, or 78% of total deposits.
• The company’s net interest income for the third quarter of 2015 was $78.7 million, an increase of $36.9 million, or 88.4%, from the same period of 2014. This increase was driven by growth in the legacy loan portfolio and earning assets acquired through the Delta Trust, Community First and Liberty transactions.
• Non-interest income for the third quarter was $23.5 million, an increase of $7.5 million compared with the third quarter of 2014. The increase in non-interest income was primarily due to additional trust income, service charge and fee income, mortgage lending and investment banking income resulting from the acquisitions, gains on sale of other real estate and gain on the sale of our Salina, Kan., banking operations.
• For the third quarter, Simmons’ common stockholders’ equity was $1 billion, book value per share was $33.89 and tangible book value per share was $21.89.
In Thursday’s morning session, Simmons stock (NASDAQ: SFNC) price touched a 52-week high before settling at $49.55, up $1.60 at 3.34%. Shares of the Arkansas regional bank have traded in the past 52 weeks between $35.72 and the $50.28 share price reached in Thursday’s mid-morning trading.