Home BancShares 2Q Profit Up 20%

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway earned $15.5 million in the second quarter, an improvement of 20.3 percent over the same quarter in 2011 and the most profitable quarter in the company's history.

Home BancShares (Nasdaq:HOMB) is the publicly traded parent company of Centennial Bank. Earnings per share reached 55 cents for the quarter, up from 45 cents per share in the year-ago period.

"I am exceptionally proud of our second quarter results, as our Company was able to once again boost our quarterly earnings to new highs," Chairman John Allison said in a press release. "Not only was this significantly the most profitable quarter in the Company's history, but we also reported improvements in our non-performing non-covered loans and assets, record net interest income, plus a 252 basis point improvement in our core efficiency ratio from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012."

CEO Randy Sims said the company had improved on its previous quarterly high by $1 million or 7 percent.

"We are also pleased with once again reporting strong reserves and capital levels. This strong financial position puts us in a avorable position for both FDIC and market acquisition transaction opportunities," Sims said in the announcement.

Net interest income for the quarter was a record, increasing 9.7 percent to $39.2 million. During the quarter, the company recorded a $6.6 million provision for loan losses, primarily because of "credit deterioration" in two loan pools. But since those loans were covered by loss-share agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. - indicating that they are likely in Florida, where Centennial has acquired numerous failed banks through the FDIC - the net provision was reduced to $1.3 million.

Non-interest income was also up in the second quarter: $11.1 million that included $3.7 million from service charges on deposit accounts, $3.2 million from other service charges and fees, $1.3 million from mortgage lending income.

Non-interest expense increased modestly, from $23.9 million a year ago to for the second to $24.4 million last quarter, mainly because of costs associated with the acquisition of former Vision Bank branches along the Gulf Coast offset by a reduction in FDIC assessments.

The bank finished the quarter with assets of $4.06 billion, up from $3.6 billion at the end of December.

Conference Call
Managers will conduct a conference call at 1 p.m. Thursday. Interested parties can listen to this call by calling (877) 317-6789 and asking for the Home BancShares conference call. Internet access to the call will be available live or in recorded version on HomeBancShares.com under "Investor Relations."