Simmons First posts record income in 2019, announces retirements

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,064 views 

Simmons First on Thursday (Jan. 23) posted 2019 record net income of $237.8 million, up 10.3% over $215.7 million in 2018. The Pine Bluff-based bank holding company also announced the retirement of Marty Casteel, chairman, president, and CEO of Simmons Bank, the primary subsidiary of Simmons First.

The per share earnings of $2.41 for the year were below the consensus estimate of $2.50. However, excluding more than $31 million in one-time charges related to mergers, retirements and cost-cutting measures, the “core” earnings per share reached $2.73.

Total revenue for the year was $988.145 million, well ahead of $824.587 million in 2018.

Fourth quarter net income was $52.7 million, below the $55.6 million in the same period of 2018. Per share earnings were 49 cents, also below the consensus estimate of 59 cents. Again, excluding one-time charges related to mergers and other costs, the “core” per share earnings were 66 cents.

“We are very proud of our results for 2019,” George Makris, Jr., chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Corp., said in the earnings report posted before the markets opened. “Not only did we produce excellent financial results, we welcomed new associates from Reliance Bank in St. Louis and Landmark Bank in Columbia, MO to the Simmons family.”

The acquisitions of Reliance Bank in St. Louis and Landmark Bank in Columbia, Mo., added $4.9 billion in assets to Simmons First operations. Simmons paid $435 million in an all stock deal to acquire Landmark, and paid $214 million in a cash and stock deal to acquire Reliance Bank.

Following are other financial metrics from the earnings report.

• Return on assets in 2019 was 1.33%, down from 1.37% in 2018.
• Return on equity in 2019 was 9.93%, down from 10% in 2018.
• As of Dec. 31, total deposits were $16.1 billion, up from $12.4 billion at the end of 2018.
• As of Dec. 31, total assets were $21.259 billion, up from $16.543 billion at the end of 2018.

Casteel, a more than 30-year veteran with the company, is set to retire March 31. He will remain a director of Simmons Bank and a director with Simmons First.

“With deep knowledge, experience, and integrity, Marty has provided incredible leadership to our organization and masterfully overseen its recent transformation through acquisitions with great care and compassion for all involved. I am personally extremely grateful for his presence and counsel during my tenure with this company, and I am thankful Marty has agreed to remain affiliated with it as a director,” Makris noted.

Makris will assume the role of chairman, president, and CEO of Simmons Bank, in addition to his role as chairman and CEO of the holding company.

The company also announced that Patrick Burrow, executive vice president and general counsel, will retire March 31.

Simmons First National Corp. is a financial holding company WITH financial operations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Simmons shares (NASDAQ: SFNC) closed Thursday at $25.70, down 9 cents. During the past 52 weeks, the share price has ranged between $27.87 and $22.08.