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With 132% increase, Simmons posts record annual profits

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Bolstered by a jump in fourth-quarter earnings, Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) reported record annual earnings of $215.7 million.

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based operator of six Simmons Bank branches in Springfield beat 2017 net income of $92.9 million by 132 percent. Diluted share earnings climbed to $2.32 in 2018 from $1.33 a year earlier, according to a news release.

“We experienced excellent organic growth in all our markets and balanced year-to-date loan yields with deposit costs in a rising-rate environment, all the while sustaining our reputable asset quality,” Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. said in the release. “This past year, we focused on improving our delivery of products and services to our customers throughout our existing footprint.”

2018 financial notes:
    •    Fourth-quarter net income was $55.6 million, a 192 percent increase from $18.9 million a year earlier.
    •    Loans rose 8.3 percent to $11.7 billion to close out the year, compared with $10.8 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017.
    •    Salaries and employee benefits totaled $49.2 million at the end of the year, which was roughly flat from the same time in 2017.

Simmons as of Dec. 31 had assets of $16.5 billion and deposits of $12.4 billion, according to the release.

SFNC shares were trading at $25.14 as of 11:13 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $22.64 to $33.45.

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