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Great Southern Bank officials say future reductions in net income could be coming as the pandemic continues.
SBJ file photo
Great Southern Bank officials say future reductions in net income could be coming as the pandemic continues.

Great Southern cites pandemic as earnings drop

Posted online

Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) pointed to the economic downturn brought about by the coronavirus pandemic in reporting a second quarter drop in earnings.

The Great Southern Bank operator posted net income of $13.2 million, a roughly 28% decrease from $18.4 million in the same three-month period of 2019, according to a news release. Diluted share earnings fell to 93 cents from $1.28 per share in the second quarter last year.

“The duration and severity of the pandemic remains unknown, creating great uncertainty and challenges to the U.S. economy," Great Southern President and CEO Joe Turner said in the release. "As when the crisis started, we remain ready to respond to the challenges produced by these uncertain times and are in a position of strength regarding capital, earnings and liquidity."

Turner said the company's loan loss provision expense was the main contributor to the net income decrease in the second quarter. Great Southern’s provision for loan losses was $6 million, a 275% increase from $1.6 million a year earlier.

Great Southern officials also predicted future quarterly net income reductions, depending on the length and severity of the downturn, according to the release. Factors include certain fees for deposits and loan products that may be waived or reduced; point-of-sale fee income decreases; and the possible future temporary closures of branches if the pandemic worsens.

“As we continue to manage through the pandemic, our primary concern is for the well-being of our associates, customers and communities. Our thoughts are with those directly affected by COVID-19," Turner said in the release. "Some of our customers unfortunately are facing financial hardships, and we are actively working with them to assist with whatever difficulty they may be experiencing."

As of June 30, Great Southern's assets were $5.6 billion and deposits were $4.5 billion. The company has 95 branches in Missouri and five other states, as well as commercial lending offices in Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the release.

GSBC shares were trading at $39.24 as of 10:53 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $32.23 to $64.48.

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