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Simmons Bank’s earnings dip 7%

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Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) posted a 7% decrease in first-quarter earnings.

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based operator of six Simmons Bank branches in Springfield yesterday reported net income of $47.7 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, for the first three months of the year. That compares with profits of $51.3 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, recorded a year earlier, according to a news release.

Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. pointed to a $2.8 million decrease in debit card interchange income, among other changes.

First-quarter financial notes:
• Interest income grew 12% to $179 million.
• Interest expense rose nearly 90% to $42 million.
• Salaries and employee benefits were flat at $56.4 million.

As of March 31, Simmons’ assets were $16.1 billion and deposits were $12 billion, according to the release.

SFNC shares were trading at $24.16 as of 9:35 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $22.64 to $33.45.

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