One-Time Charges Cap Big 2017 for Home BancShares


One-Time Charges Cap Big 2017 for Home BancShares

Excluding expenses tied to mergers and a hurricane, Home BancShares Inc. of Conway finished 2017 with annual profit of more than $200 million and assets of more than $14 billion.

The publicly traded company (Nasdaq: HOMB), the parent of Centennial Bank, on Thursday reported net income for the year ended Dec. 31 of $135.1 million or 89 cents diluted earnings per share, down from $177.1 million or $1.26 per share in 2016.

Those results included a number of one-time items, including expenses tied to damages from Hurricane Irma on the company's branches in Florida, a one-time charge related to mergers and a one-time charge relating to the GOP tax cut law. Excluding those effects, the company reported annual after-tax earnings of $204.8 million, up nearly 16 percent from 2016.

"Looking back on the last year, we were active in growing and navigating the company as we crossed over the $10 billion threshold," Chairman John Allison said in a news release. "Home added $3.46 billion in total assets through the completion of three acquisitions and issued $300 million of subordinated debt in an underwritten public offering."

Allison cited challenges posed by the hurricane, which resulted in the temporary closure of a Naples branch that sustained roof damage. But he said the company was "well-positioned" to continue its growth and improve shareholder value.

A key factor in 2017's growth was the company's acquisition of Stonegate Bank of Pompano Beach, Florida, a transaction worth about $820 million. The deal dramatically expanded Centennial Bank's presence in Florida and pushed Home BancShares beyond the $10 billion-asset mark. 

Home BancShares officially completed the deal in September. On Thursday, Centennial Bank President and CEO Tracy French said the company will finish a systems conversion at Stonegate next month.

"Once we convert the Stonegate core operating systems on Feb. 9, 2018, the company will be well-positioned to realize the anticipated cost savings, thereby rewarding our shareholders," French said. "Our team is focused on this important task and is working to recognize these enhancements as quickly as possible."

Also Thursday, the company reported fourth-quarter profit of $23.3 million and 13 cents diluted earnings per share. Excluding one-time charges, the company's after-tax earnings were $60.2 million, up nearly 31 percent from the same quarter last year.

Home BancShares also reported a fourth-quarter core efficiency ratio of 37.35 percent.