Home Bancshares Inc., the parent company of Centennial Bank, ended fiscal 2015 on a strong note after it reported fourth-quarter earnings rose more than 25%. The Conway-based banking group continued its streak of 19 straight profitable quarters to end the year.
For the period ended Dec. 31, 2015, the Arkansas regional bank reported quarterly profit of $37.4 million, compared to $29.9 million, for the same quarter in 2014. Excluding the $2.9 million of merger expenses associated with the $100 million acquisition of Florida Business BancGroup Inc. (FBBI) in October, diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2015 was 56 cents per share versus 46 cents a year ago.
The fourth quarter earnings per share hit the consensus estimate of the eight market analysts who cover the company.
“I am pleased to report the company’s outstanding quarterly and annual earnings and financial metrics,” Home Bancshares Chairman John Allison said in the earnings report. “This past year, our team was diligent and motivated to reach and, in some cases, exceed our financial goals. We improved the efficiency ratio to less than 39.99%, executed three acquisition opportunities, and grew organic loans by $881.6 million. We intend to keep up this momentum in 2016 by continuing to improve the company’s earnings and financial metrics.”
For the year, Home Bancshares results were as equally impressive. Company officials said fiscal 2015 full year earnings rose 22% to $138.2 million compared, compared to $113.1 million for the year ended 2014. Diluted earnings per share for the year ended 2015 was $2.02 per share compared to $1.70 per share for 2014, excluding $4.8 million in of 2015 merger expenses associated with the company’s string of acquisitions in 2015.
Following are other notes from the Home Bancshares earnings report.
• Stockholders’ equity was $1.2 billion at Dec.31, 2015 compared to $1.02 billion at Dec.31, 2014, an increase of $184.5 million.
• Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2015 increased 20.1% to $100.1 million from $83.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2014.
• During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Arkansas bank recorded a provision for loan loss of $8.9 million compared to $5.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. This expected increase of $3.5 million is primarily a reflection of the organic loan growth generated during 2015.
• Total non-covered loans were $6.58 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to $4.82 billion at Dec. 31, 2014. Total covered loans were $62.2 million at Dec. 31, 2015, compared to $240.2 million in the same period of 2014.
• Total deposits were $6.44 billion at Dec. 31, 2015 compared to $5.42 billion at Dec. 31, 2014. Total assets were $9.29 billion at Dec. 31, 2015 compared to $7.40 billion at Dec. 31, 2014.
During the fourth quarter of 2015, Home Bancshares acquired six branches through the acquisition of FBBI and has plans to open a deposit-only branch location in New York City during the first quarter of 2016. The Conway-based regional banking group said it has closed one Arkansas location and three Florida locations during the fourth quarter of 2015 and has plans to close two Arkansas locations and two Florida locations during the first quarter of 2016.
Today, the Conway banking group has 79 branches in Arkansas, 61 branches in Florida, 6 branches in Alabama and a loan production office in New York City.
In early trading on Thursday, Home Bancshares stock (NASDAQ: HOMB) was down 28 cents at $36.10. The bank’s shares have traded in the range of $29.48 and $47.50 during the past 52 weeks.