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Simmons First earnings fall 4%

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Pine Bluff, Ark.-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) posted third-quarter earnings of $7.3 million, a 4 percent decrease compared to net income of $7.6 million in the same quarter last year. The holding company operates its sole Missouri Simmons First National Bank branch in Springfield at 3333 E. Battlefield Road.

Earnings per diluted share were 42 cents, a 13-cent decrease from the third quarter of 2010, according to a news release.

“The primary driver for this slight decrease is a $2 million reduction of premiums on the sale of student loans, which we anticipated," Simmons First Chairman and CEO J. Thomas May said in the release, noting that the private sector was excluded from originating government-guaranteed student loans beginning with the 2010-11 school year.

Total loans for the company, including those covered by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. loss share agreements, were $1.8 billion in the third quarter, a 1.5 percent increase from the same period in 2010. Excluding FDIC-covered loans, Simmons First's loan amount was $1.6 million, down from $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2010.

"While we remain disappointed with the lack of loan demand throughout our markets, it was expected based on the economy, and it is likely to continue throughout 2011," May said in the release.

Third-quarter financial highlights:
  • Total deposits were $2.6 billion, an increase of $253 million from the same quarter of 2010.
  • Net interest income increased 4.7 percent to $27.3 million.
  • Noninterest income was $13.7 million, while noninterest expense was $27.6 million.
Simmons First National Corp. entered the Springfield market with its May 2010 acquisition of Springfield-based Southwest Community Bank.

As of Sept. 30, the company's total assets were $3.3 billion.

Simmons First National shares were trading at $25.57 as of 9:40 a.m., compared to a 52-week range of $18.71 to $30.16.[[In-content Ad]]

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