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Ahead of Arvest purchase, Bear State posts net income growth

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Under contract to be purchased by Arvest Bank for $391 million, Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bear State Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: BSF) increased its net income by 8.2 percent to $5.1 million from $4.7 million a year ago.

Diluted share earnings for the company — which has three Bear State Bank branches in Springfield — rose by 1 cent to 14 cents per share in the three-month period ended Sept. 30, according to a news release.

Third-quarter financial notes:
    •    Net interest income rose 14 percent to $19.1 million compared with the same quarter in 2016.
    •    Provision for loan losses tripled to $1.9 million.
    •    Salaries and employee benefits were $6.9 million, a 9 percent decrease.

Bear State, which entered the Springfield market in 2015 through a $70 million purchase of Metropolitan National Bank, announced in August it would be acquired by Arvest. The deal is expected to close late this year or in early 2018.

As of Sept. 30, Bear State held assets of $2.24 billion and deposits of $1.6 billion, according to the release. Its local $317 million in deposits and $330 million in loans will be absorbed by Arvest’s Springfield-area operations.

BSF shares were trading at $10.25 as of 8:40 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $8.65 to $10.95.


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