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Simmons Bank completes $1B in acquisitions after Q3 wraps

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Ahead of its quarterly earnings release, Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC), announced it finalized more than $1 billion worth of acquisitions.

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based operator of six Simmons Bank branches in Springfield — bolstered by acquisitions in recent years in the local market — bought Stillwater, Oklahoma-based Southwest Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: OKSB) for $564.4 million and Fort Worth-based First Texas BHC Inc. for $462 million in cash and stock, according to a news release and Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The acquisitions bring Simmons Bank’s assets to more than $14 billion, deposits to $11.2 billion and loans to $10.4 billion. The company had $9.5 billion in assets, $7.3 billion in deposits and $6.3 billion in loans as of Sept. 30, according to its latest earnings report.

“With the closing of these transactions, Simmons has now expanded its reach into three new banking markets – Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado – and strengthened its franchise in Kansas,” Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. said in the release.

Simmons entered the Springfield market through the 2010 purchase of Southwest Community Bank’s assets following the 14-year-old company’s failure. It’s since expanded through acquisitions of Liberty Bancshares Inc. and Ozark Trust and Investment Corp.

Quarterly report
Simmons posted a third-quarter earnings gain of roughly 24 percent to $28.9 million from $23.4 million a year earlier.

The company’s diluted share earnings were 86 cents during the three-month period ending Sept. 30, a 7-cent increase from third-quarter 2016, according to a separate news release.

“I am extremely proud of our associates’ ability to manage the significant transactions during the quarter while producing outstanding results,” Makris said in the release.

Third-quarter financial notes:
    •    Interest income jumped 19 percent to $87.5 million.
    •    Provision for loan losses decreased 34 percent to $5.5 million.
    •    Salaries and employee benefits rose 11 percent to $35.3 million.

SFNC shares were trading at $59.80 as of 8:48 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $47 to $67.

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