Simmons First 3Q Earnings at $6.7 Million, Down 6.8 Percent

Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff on Thursday reported third quarter profits were down 6.8 percent in a year-over-year comparison.

The company recorded net income of $6.7 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared to $7.2 million a year ago.

Simmons reported a $19.7 million profit for the first nine months of 2012, up 3.1 percent for the same period last year.

Last month, the company announced the FDIC-assisted purchase of Truman Bank of St. Louis. The transaction, which encompassed assets of $282 million, generated a $1.1 million pre-tax bargain gain.

Tommy May, Simmons chairman CEO, said  that quarterly core earnings decreased 4.8 percent and year-to-date core earnings increased 6.5 percent when non-recurring items were excluded.

"We continue to benefit significantly from strong asset quality, which has resulted in a reduction in our provision for loan losses and from our on-going efficiency initiatives that resulted in a decrease in our year-to-date non-interest expense," May said.

On Oct. 19, the company announced an FDIC-assisted purchase of $201 million in assets from Excel Bank of Sedalia, Mo. at a $21 million discount.

Total loans increased 3 percent from a year ago to $1.9 billion. Total deposits were grew by 6.1 percent to $2.8 billion during the past 12 months.

Simmons (Nasdaq: SFNC) operates eight banks in Pine Bluff, Lake Village, Jonesboro, Rogers, Searcy, Russellville, El Dorado and Hot Springs, part of its network of 96 locations in 55 communities in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas.

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