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Great Southern issues special dividend on strong quarterly results

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Last edited 12:49 p.m., Jan. 23, 2019

Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) this morning announced a special cash dividend for shareholders after posting strong earnings during the fourth quarter and full year.

Shareholders of record as of Feb. 4 are slated to receive a one-time dividend payment of 75 cents per common share on Feb. 19, according to a news release. Great Southern spokeswoman Kelly Polonus said the company is estimated to pay $10.6 million to issue the special dividend from its excess capital.

“This special dividend reflects the company’s recent operating performance, strong financial condition and commitment to delivering long-term shareholder value,” Great Southern President and CEO Joe Turner said in the release. “It also underscores our continued efforts to actively manage our capital position while maintaining sufficient capacity for organic growth and other potential corporate initiatives.”

During 2018, Great Southern doled out four regular quarterly dividends totaling $1.24 per common share.

Great Southern’s net income during the year rose roughly 30 percent to $67.1 million, or $4.71 per diluted share, from $51.6 million, or $3.64 per diluted share, a year earlier, according to a separate news release.

Great Southern ended the year with fourth-quarter profits of $17.3 million, a nearly 42 percent jump from $12.2 million in the same quarter of 2017. Diluted share earnings in the quarter moved up to $1.21 from 86 cents a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter financial notes:
    •    Great Southern recorded atypical income of $673,000 after entering an interest rate swap in October 2018. Great Southern paid a one-time fee of $388,000 to its advisers, resulting in a 1.5-cent increase to earnings per common share.
    •    The company sold $3.9 million in foreclosed real estate assets.
    •    Net interest income rose 13.5 percent to $44.6 million, up from $39.3 million in fourth-quarter 2017.

As of Dec. 31, Great Southern held $4.7 billion in assets and $3.7 billion in deposits. The company operates 99 Great Southern Bank branches in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska, as well as commercial loan production offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Omaha, Nebraska, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the release.

GSBC shares were trading at $50.98 as of 9:45 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $43.30 to $61.65.


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