Simmons quarterly income up 46%, notes responses to COVID-19 impact

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 358 views 

In addition to beating income and revenue estimates for the first quarter, Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. received approval to issue federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling more than $745 million.

The bank holding company announced Tuesday (April 21) that first quarter 2020 revenue totaled $291.715 million, up 37% compared with the $212.877 million in the same quarter of 2019. The revenue also beat the consensus estimate of $212.08 million.

Net income in the quarter was $77.2 million, well ahead of the $52.7 million in the same quarter of 2019. Earnings per share of 68 cents blew past the consensus estimate of 43 cents.

Revenue and income were bolstered by the 2019 acquisitions of Reliance Bank in St. Louis and Landmark Bank in Columbia, Mo., which 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.

The bank also during the first quarter received a $30.1 million income boost after selling $1 billion in securities.

“I am very proud of our team and their demonstration of our community banking values during these trying times,” Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris, Jr., said in the earnings report. “Many of our associates could not work from home because they were serving our customers who needed our help.”

The company said in the earnings report it has temporarily closed 52 bank offices, but it “well positioned” to serve customers and “come out of these unprecedented times.”

“The Company has implemented business continuity plans to help ensure that customers have adequate access to banking services while at the same time working to protect associates through heightened safety procedures. As of March 31, 2020, the Company has approximately $4.7 billion in liquidity sources available and is well capitalized, which management believes should allow the Company to approach the crisis from a position of strength,” noted a statement in the earnings report.

The company also said it was approved during the quarter to issue more than 3,100 PPP loans totaling $745 million. The $349 billion PPP was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act approved by Congress to provide aid to individuals, businesses and state and local governments in response to the pandemic.

“In addition, the Company has completed or is in the process of modifying more than 3,600 loans totaling over $2.8 billion. The Company is dedicated to supporting its customers and communities throughout this period of uncertainty,” Simmons noted in the earnings report.

Total deposits at the end of the quarter were $15.6 billion, up from $12 billion in the same quarter of 2019 thanks in large part to the 2019 acquisitions. Total assets at the end of the quarter were $20.841 billion, up from $16.091 billion at the end of the 2019 quarter.

Simmons shares (NASDAQ: SFNC) closed Tuesday at $17.60, down 7 cents. During the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged between $27.29 and $14.56.