Simmons First sees triple-digit 1Q profit growth on strong loan portfolio

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 128 views 

Simmons First National Corp.’s quarterly profits jumped more than 169% as the Pine Bluff community bank continued to see strong growth in its loan portfolio during the first three months of 2016.

For the period ended March 31, 2016, Simmons First reported net income of $23.5 million, or 77 cents per share, compared to $8.7 million, or 39 cents per share a year ago. Simmons First saw revenue of $99.7 million in the three month period. Wall Street had expected the Arkansas bank to report first quarter earnings of 79 cents per share on revenue of nearly $103 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

“We believe that our operating results reflect the successful integration of 12 separately chartered banks and two trust companies over the past two years. We continue to pursue growth opportunities and improvement in our organization as evidenced by our recent charter conversion to a state member bank,” said Simmons First Chairman and CEO George Makris, Jr.

Key first quarter financial highlights for Simmons First, which converted from a national banking association to an Arkansas state charter on April 1, include:

• Total loans, including those acquired, were $4.9 billion at March 31, 2016, an increase of $290 million, or 6.3%, compared with the same period in 2015. Legacy loans (all loans excluding acquired loans) grew $1.4 billion, or 64.2%.
• For the period ended March 31, 2016, total deposits were $6.1 billion, a decrease of $195 million, or 3.1%, compared to a year ago. Total non-time deposits were $4.8 billion, or 78.9% of total deposits.
• The Pine Bluff bank’s net interest income for the first quarter of 2016 was $70.2 million, a spike of $17.3 million, or 32.6%, from the same period of 2014. This increase was driven by growth in the legacy loan portfolio and earning assets acquired through the Community First and Liberty transactions.
• As of March 31, 2016, common stockholders’ equity was $1.1 billion, book value per share was $35.35 and tangible book value per share was $22.84. The company’s ratio of stockholders’ equity to total assets was 14.22% and its ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets was 9.7%.

Simmons First shares were up 1.2% at $47.36 in early trading Thursday on the Nasdaq stock exchange. During the past 52 weeks, the share price has ranged from a $58.75 high to a $38.30 low.