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Simmons Bank more than doubles earnings

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Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) more than doubled its first-quarter earnings despite atypical costs.

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based operator of six Simmons Bank branches in Springfield reported net income of $51.3 million, a 132 percent increase from $22.1 million in the same period a year earlier. Diluted share earnings rose by 20 cents to 55 cents, according to a news release.

During the quarter, the company incurred $1.3 million in one-time expenses related to the acquisition of Stillwater, Oklahoma-based Southwest Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: OKSB) and branch reorganizations.

“The conversion of Southwest Bank is now complete and we look forward to continuing to serve our new customers in the Texas markets,” Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. said in the release. “We are off to a productive start for 2018.”

First-quarter financial notes:
    •    Interest income climbed by 100 percent to $157 million.
    •    Provision for loan losses jumped by 112 percent to $9.2 million.
    •    Salaries and employee benefits rose 59 percent to $56.4 million compared with a year earlier.

Known locally for acquisitions of Liberty Bancshares Inc. and other companies, Simmons Bank recorded assets of $15.6 billion and deposits of $11.7 billion as of March 31, according to the release.

SFNC shares this morning traded as high as $30.50, matching its 52-week high set on March 9. The company’s 52-week low is $24.88.

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