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Simmons Bank's profits rise in 2020

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) posted a net income increase in a year that was challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company, which operates four Simmons Bank branches in Springfield, reported a 7.2% jump in profits to $254.9 million, up from $237.8 million in 2019. Diluted share earnings, however, were down to $2.31 from $2.41 per share a year earlier.

“As we look back on a very challenging year, we are very proud of the teamwork and results we achieved,” said George Makris Jr., Simmons Bank's CEO and chairperson, in the release. "We worked diligently to position ourselves with less risk and with the capacity to help the economy recover from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

"Our profitability was excellent, especially under the circumstances.”

During 2020, Simmons Bank issued more than 8,000 forgivable loans totaling roughly $1 billion through the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.

Makris said in the release that the company’s PPP work aided “businesses that faced extraordinary uncertainty and helped support over 100,000 jobs.”

Simmons Bank additionally reported fourth quarter earnings that were up slightly at $53 million.

The company's assets were $22.4 billion and deposits were nearly $17 billion as of Dec. 31, according to the release.

SFNC shares were trading at $26.03 as of 10:05 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $13.75 to $27.19. The 52-week high was set Jan. 22.

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