Home BancShares' 1Q Profit Up 21 Percent to $17.5M

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway on Thursday reported first-quarter net income of $17.5 million, up 21 percent from $14.5 million during the same quarter last year.

Home BancShares (Nasdaq: HOMB), which is the holding company for Centennial Bank, said earnings per share reached 62 cents, up from 51 cents during the same time last year.

"This is the eighth consecutive quarter we have reported the most profitable quarter in the company's history," John Allison, chairman, said in a news release. "The company has demonstrated an improvement in our non-performing non-covered loans and assets this quarter plus a very impressive return on average assets of 1.7 percent for the first quarter of 2013.

"We continue to remain strong in our capital levels, which are considerably above the regulators' capital requirements. These strong reserves place us in a position to benefit from both FDIC and market acquisition transaction opportunities as they are presented," he said.

The company said first-quarter net interest income reached $44.3 million, up 21.4 percent from the same time last year. The effective yield on non-covered loans and covered loans was 6.11 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively. Excluding the $2.2 million of additional yield for first quarter, the pro-forma effective yield on covered loans was 7.94 percent.

Home BancShares also said that it plans to continue to add to its locations in Florida. It plans to open a loan production office in Pensacola, Fla., in the second quarter, converting the office to a full-service branch "shortly thereafter."

The company will also add a de novo branch on Highway 30A in Seagrove, Fla., during "the middle of 2013." 

The company, which has expanded into other markets with the help of FDIC-assisted acquisitions, said it closed one branch in January in south Arkansas "to improve operational efficiency." And as a result of its acquisition of Premier Bank last year, the company said it expects to close "three to four" branches in the Tallahassee, Fla., area in the second quarter.

The company currently has 46 branches in Arkansas, 54 branches in Florida and 7 branches in Alabama.