CORRECTED: Simmons First 2Q Earnings Flat

Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff on Thursday announced second-quarter net income of $6.6 million, an increase of about 0.6 percent from the same period last year.

For the first six months of the year, earnings were 12.5 million, down 2.9 percent from the $12.9 million earned in the same period last year.

In its announcement, the publicly traded bank holding company (Nasdaq: SFNC) focused on increases in earnings per share - 40 cents for the quarter, up 5.3 percent from the second quarter of 2012, and 76 cents for the first half of the year, up a penny. The company has been engaged in an effective stock buyback.

"Considering interest rates continue at historical lows, we were pleased with our 5.3 percent quarterly EPS increase," George A. Makris, Jr., CEO-elect, said in a news release. "More so, we were pleased with the positive trends in our balance sheet, as reflected in our normalized organic loan growth of approximately 3 percent, which enabled us to produce a net interest margin of 3.96 percent. The organic loan growth, coupled with strong asset quality, bodes well for the balance of the year."