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Great Southern’s earnings rise on lower expenses

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On lower expenses and loan growth, Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) boosted third-quarter earnings by 4 percent to $11.7 million from $11.2 million a year earlier.

The Springfield-based operator of Great Southern Bank reported diluted share earnings of 82 cents, a 2-cent increase from third-quarter 2016, according to a news release.

"We are pleased with our results in the third quarter, especially in the areas of net interest margin, credit quality and expense containment,” Great Southern President and CEO Joe Turner said in the release. “Good loan production occurred in the third quarter, resulting in an increase in net outstanding loan balances of approximately $28 million from the end of the second quarter.

“Loan production occurred in all of our major markets with increases primarily in commercial real estate, multifamily and construction loans.”

Third-quarter financial notes:
    •    Noninterest expenses declined 8.6 percent to $28 million compared with a year earlier.
    •    Net interest income was down by 4.3 percent to $39.3 million.
    •    Provision for loan losses increased 18 percent to $3 million.

As of Sept. 30, Great Southern held assets of $4.5 billion and deposits of $3.6 billion. The company operates 104 branches in Missouri and five other states, as well as commercial lending offices in Chicago, Dallas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the release.

GSBC shares were trading at $56.55 as of 8:45 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $38.35 to $58.45.

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