The Bank Slate


Simmons in Ark. has sharp earnings drop after series of charges

Simmons First National in Pine Bluff, Ark., reported a messy fourth quarter that included a securities loss, a higher loan-loss provision and expenses tied to cost-cutting initiatives.

The $27.3 billion-asset company said in a press release that its quarterly profit decreased by 71% from a year earlier, to $23.9 million. Revenue fell by 25% to $177.6 million.

The quarter included a $10 million provision – there was no provision a year earlier.

Simmons also had a $20.2 million pretax loss from selling $241 million of low-yield securities. The proceeds were used to pay off higher-rate wholesale fundings, including brokered deposits and FHLB advances. It should take between two and three years to earn back the loss.

The company also paid a $10.5 million special assessment to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. There was a $3.9 million charge tied to “branch rightsizing” and $1 million associated with an early retirement program.

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