PB bank profit up as loans in­crease

2Q ‘solid,’ states Sim­mons’ CEO

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - DAVID SMITH

Sim­mons First Na­tional Corp. earned $23.1 mil­lion in net in­come in the sec­ond quar­ter com­pared with a profit of $22.9 mil­lion in the same pe­riod last year, the Pine Bluff bank said Wednes­day.

Sim­mons earned 72 cents a share, miss­ing the av­er­age es­ti­mate of 80 cents a share of five an­a­lysts sur­veyed by Thom­son Reuters.

The bank’s stock rose 35 cents a share to close Wednes­day at $52.55 in trad­ing on the Nas­daq ex­change. Sim­mons re­leased its quar­terly re­port af­ter the mar­ket closed.

Sim­mons had “solid re­sults” in the quar­ter, said Ge­orge Makris, Sim­mons’ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

“Our loan growth con­tin­ues to be strong,” Makris said in a pre­pared state­ment. “We con­tinue to ex­pand our risk man­age­ment pro­grams in an­tic­i­pa­tion of sur­pass­ing $10 bil­lion in as­sets within the next few months. All in all, we feel we are well-pre­pared for con­tin­ued growth both [in­ter­nally] and through ac­qui­si­tions.”

Sim­mons had loans of $6.2 bil­lion on June 30, an in­crease of $1.2 bil­lion, or 24 per­cent, from the same date last year. Sim­mons had growth of $270 mil-

lion in loans in its mar­kets in Spring­field, Mo.; North­west Arkansas; the Kansas City, Mo., area; St. Louis; and Lit­tle Rock, the bank said.

To­tal de­posits were $7.1 bil­lion at the end of the sec­ond quar­ter, an in­crease of $1.1 bil­lion, or 17.8 per­cent, com­pared with a year ear­lier. Most of the growth was from de­posits gained in ac­qui­si­tions.

The bank had as­sets of $9.1 bil­lion on June 30, up from $7.5 bil­lion on June 30, 2016.

Sim­mons had an ef­fi­ciency ra­tio of 56.04 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter, down slightly from 57.33 per­cent in the same pe­riod last year. That means it costs Sim­mons $56.04 to earn $100.

Sim­mons is fo­cused on clos­ing on its two an­nounced ac­qui­si­tions, said Matt Olney, a bank­ing an­a­lyst with Stephens Inc. in Lit­tle Rock.

The bank filed the merger applications for South­west Ban­corp Inc. in Still­wa­ter, Okla., and First Texas (Bank Hold­ing Co.) in Fort Worth on July 14, Sim­mons said.

“It’s a long process,” said Olney, who owns no stock in Sim­mons. “The ques­tion now is is that some­thing that will be wrapped up at the end of this year or go into early next year.”

Sim­mons an­tic­i­pates a clos­ing date as early as Oc­to­ber or as late as Jan­uary, the Pine Bluff bank said in its news re­lease.

Olney said it is un­likely Sim­mons will pro­ceed with an­other pur­chase un­til af­ter it closes the Texas and Ok­la­homa bank deals.

“Maybe next year you could see them come back in the mar­ket [for an­other ac­qui­si­tion],” Olney said.

Sim­mons will hold a con­fer­ence call at 11 a.m. to­day to dis­cuss the quar­ter. To ac­cess the call, dial (866) 298-7926 and pro­vide iden­ti­fi­ca­tion code 4025-2860.

Sim­mons has branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Mis­souri and Ten­nessee.

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