Simmons First National Corp. announced record core earnings of $10.7 million for the third quarter of 2014, an increase of $3.3 million or 45 percent, compared to the same quarter last year, the company said Thursday in a news release.

Simmons First National Corp. announced record core earnings of $10.7 million for the third quarter of 2014, an increase of $3.3 million or 45 percent, compared to the same quarter last year, the company said Thursday in a news release.


"We are pleased with the financial results from another active quarter," Simmons Chairman and CEO George A. Makris Jr. said in a written statement. "We closed our acquisition of Delta Trust & Bank at the end of August and have our systems conversion scheduled for [Friday]. We completed our legacy charter consolidation into Simmons Bank and again reported record core earnings and record core earnings per share."


Simmons First National Corp. Executive Vice President and Investor Relations Officer David W. Garner said the company is pleased with the results. Simmons acquired Metropolitan National Bank in November 2013, leading to its growth, he said.


"The $10.7 million is based on our total assets. Our balance sheets have grown with our acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank and Delta Trust & Bank," Garner said. "We experienced good balance sheet growth and achieved greater cost savings from the acquisitions and leveraged our back office to achieve greater efficiencies. Additionally, we achieved double-digit loan growth over the last year."


In acquiring Delta, Simmons acquired nine branches, Garner said. Simmons is keeping open those in Parkdale, Hamburg, Wilmot, West Little Rock and Conway.


Simmons is closing another four branches because they are near existing Simmons Bank branches, Garner said.


Some employee positions are being eliminated, although Simmons did not provide a number.


"Some Delta employees left on their own," Garner said. "Some positions are being eliminated because of job duplication. There is a lot of turnover; people are coming and going all the time."


Simmons reported the following figures through Sept. 30: $4.7 billion in total assets; $2.8 billion in total loans, an increase of $799 million compared to the same period in 2013; $3.9 billion in total deposits, an increase of $1.1 billion compared to the same period in 2013. Total non-time deposits totaled $2.9 billion, or 73 percent of total deposits, according to the company.


"We continue to achieve nice loan growth in virtually every market we serve, specifically in St. Louis, Wichita, Central Arkansas and in our national equipment finance program," Makris said in a statement.


In addition, Simmons reported $483 million in stockholders’ equity, with a book value per share of $26.82 and tangible book value per share of $19.72, according to the company. Simmons reported $41.8 million in net interest income for the third quarter of 2014, an increase of $10.2 million from the same period of 2013. This increase was driven by growth in the legacy loan portfolio and earning assets acquired through the Metropolitan and Delta Trust transactions, according to the company.


Simmons reported diluted core earnings per share at a record $0.63, an increase of $0.18, or 40 percent. Core earnings exclude $1.9 million in net after-tax expenses. Including the non-core items, net income was $8.8 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.52.


Year-to-date core earnings were $27.3 million, an increase of $7.5 million, or 37.6 percent compared to the same period of 2013. Year-to-date diluted core earnings per share were $1.65, an increase of $0.44, or 36.4 percent. Year-to-date net income was $23 million, or $1.39 diluted earnings per share.