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Simmons First earnings down 62 percent

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Pine Bluff, Ark.-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) posted fourth-quarter net income of $6.3 million, a 62 percent drop from earnings of $16.6 million in the same quarter of the prior year.

The holding company, which operates its sole Missouri Simmons First National Bank branch in Springfield at 3333 E. Battlefield Road, recorded earnings per diluted share of 37 cents during the company's latest quarter, down 59 cents from fourth-quarter 2010, according to a news release.

Simmons Chairman and CEO J. Thomas May said the discrepancy was largely due to a significant noncore net gain in the fourth quarter of 2010 realized by a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-assisted acquisition of Olathe, Kan.-based Security Savings Bank in October 2010.

"After taxes, the combined fourth-quarter 2010 nonrecurring items from that acquisition contributed $9.7 million to net income, or 56 cents to diluted earnings per share," May said in the release.

As of Dec. 31,  Simmons' total loans - excluding those covered by FDIC loss share agreements -  were $1.58 billion, a 6.2 percent decrease compared to $1.68 billion in the same period of 2010.

"Like the rest of the financial industry in Arkansas, we continue to experience weak loan demand as a result of the overall general economic environment," May said in the release. "We believe loan demand is likely to remain soft through the first quarter of 2012, and likely into the second quarter, but we are cautiously optimistic relative to improved loan demand in the last half of 2012."

Simmons ended its fiscal year with $25.37 million in total net income, compared to $37.11 million in fiscal 2010.

As of Dec. 31, the company's total assets were $3.3 billion, while its total deposits were $2.7 billion.

Simmons First National Corp. entered the Springfield market with its May 2010 acquisition of Springfield-based Southwest Community Bank.  

Simmons shares were trading at $27.94 as of 9:51 a.m., compared to a 52-week range of $18.71 to $29.31.[[In-content Ad]]


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