Springfield-based Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) ended 2019 with fourth quarter and full-year earnings increases.
For the three months ending Dec. 31, the Great Southern Bank operator reported a 3.5% bump in profits to $17.9 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, from $17.3 million, or $1.21 per share, in fourth quarter 2018, according to a news release.
“We are pleased overall with fourth quarter results as earnings remained strong even as we experienced moderate sluggishness in commercial loan demand,” Great Southern President and CEO Joe Turner said in the release. “Strong pricing competition for loans and deposits continues in most of our markets.”
For the full year, net income came to $73.6 million, a nearly 10% increase from roughly $67 million in 2018. Diluted share earnings for 2019 jumped to $5.14 per share from $4.71 a year earlier.
“We achieved the highest annual net income and earnings per share in the history of our company, which underscores the hard work and commitment of our more than 1,200 associates,” Turner said in the release.
Last week, Great Southern announced a special cash dividend of $1 per common share that will be payable on Feb. 10 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 27. On top of four regular quarterly dividends totaling $1.32 per common share in 2019, Great Southern also issued a special cash dividend of 75 cents per common share in January 2019, according to a separate news release.
Great Southern’s assets were $5 billion and deposits were nearly $4 billion as of Dec. 31. The company operates 97 branches in Missouri and five other states, as well as commercial lending offices in Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
GSBC shares were trading at $61.54 as of 10:11 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $48.75 to $64.48.
Whataburger launched its second local store; Branson shop Revive Juice and Coffee Bar LLC moved; and a new Monett branch of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library District opened.