Springfield, MO

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Great Southern cites tax law changes for improved earnings

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Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) President and CEO Joe Turner again cited federal tax reform for the company’s improved earnings.

The Springfield-based operator of Great Southern Bank recorded first-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $13.5 million, a 17 percent increase from the prior year. Earnings per diluted share rose 14 cents to 95 cents during the three-month period that ended March 31, according to a news release.

"Our first-quarter results were underscored by strong earnings supported by an expanded core margin, continued expense containment and a lower effective tax rate,” Turner said in the release. “The company's effective corporate tax rate significantly decreased.”

Turner said Great Southern’s effective tax rate dropped to 16.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with 26.1 percent in the same period last year. Turner previously pointed to tax reform benefits for Great Southern’s 2017 earnings report.

First-quarter financial notes:
    •    Net interest income rose 1.9 percent to $39.4 million.
    •    Provision for income taxes dropped by 35 percent to $2.6 million.
    •    Salaries and employee benefits decreased 4.6 percent to $14.6 million.

As of March 31, Great Southern’s assets were $4.4 billion and deposits were $3.6 billion. The company operates 104 branches and 200 ATMs in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska. It also has commercial lending offices in Chicago, Dallas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the release.

GSBC shares were trading at $51 as of 9:56 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $47.50 to $58.45.


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