Pine Bluff, AR – Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ-GS: SFNC) today announced fourth quarter 2012 net income of $8.0 million, a 27.4% increase compared to $6.3 million for the same quarter in 2011. Diluted earnings per share were $0.48, an $0.11, or 29.8% increase over the same period in 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2012, net income was $27.7 million, or $1.64 diluted earnings per share, compared to $1.47 per share for 2011, an increase of $0.17, or 11.6%.

On October 19, 2012, the Company announced that its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, Simmons First National Bank, entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with loss share arrangements with the FDIC to purchase $180 million in assets and assume substantially all of the deposits and other liabilities of Excel Bank of Sedalia, Missouri. The Company recognized a pre-tax bargain purchase gain of $2.3 million on this transaction and incurred pre-tax merger related costs of $1.1 million. After taxes, the combined non-recurring items from the transactions contributed $735,000 to net income, or $0.04 to diluted earnings per share.

“There are many positives with our earnings announcement. Personally I believe the 27% net income growth is a major accomplishment. Even more significant is the way it was accomplished through the execution of our strategic plan, which resulted in the deployment of our excess capital in two strategic acquisitions, continued improvement in our asset quality numbers that were already strong and new initiatives that were introduced in all eight of our banks that resulted in good growth in our loan portfolios and customer relationships,” commented J. Thomas May, Chairman and CEO.


Total loans, including those acquired, were $1.9 billion at December 31, 2012, an increase of $184.3 million, or 10.6%, compared to the same period in 2011. Loans acquired in FDIC-assisted acquisitions grew $135.6 million, net of discounts, and legacy loans (excluding acquired loans) grew $48.7 million, or 3.1%. “This was the second consecutive quarter of organic loan growth.  While not enough to call a trend, we believe it is very positive in that the growth is coming throughout our markets in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. Needless to say, the economy remains in a slow recovery, which makes this growth even more significant,” added May.


At December 31, 2012, total deposits were $2.9 billion, an increase of $224 million, or 8.4%, compared to the same period in 2011. Deposits acquired in the Excel acquisition were $117 million at quarter end. Total non-time deposits totaled $2.0 billion, or 70% of total deposits.

Net Interest Income

The Company’s net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $30.6 million, an increase of $3.3 million, or 12.1%, from the same period of 2011. Net interest margin was 3.99% for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Included in interest income for the period is the additional yield accretion recognized as a result of updated estimates of the cash flows of the loan pools acquired in the Company’s 2010 FDIC-assisted transactions. Each quarter, the Company estimates the cash flows expected to be collected from the acquired loan pools, and adjustments may or may not be required. The cash flows estimate has increased based on payment histories and reduced loss expectations of the loan pools. This resulted in increased interest income that is spread on a level-yield basis over the remaining expected lives of the loan pools. The increases in expected cash flows also reduce the amount of expected reimbursements under the loss sharing agreements with the FDIC, which are recorded as indemnification assets. The impact of the adjustments on the Company’s financial results for the current reporting period is shown below:
Three Months Ended
Year Ended
(In thousands)
December 31, 2012
December 31, 2012
Impact on net interest income
  $ 2,647     $ 1,124     $ 11,751     $ 1,124  
Non-interest income
    (2,510 )     (978 )     (10,755 )     (978 )
Net impact to pre-tax income
  $ 137     $ 146     $ 997     $ 146  
Because these adjustments will be recognized over the remaining lives of the loan pools and the remainder of the loss sharing agreements, respectively, they will impact future periods as well. The current estimate of the remaining accretable yield adjustment that will positively impact interest income is $19.2 million and the remaining adjustment to the indemnification assets that will reduce non-interest income is $16.8 million. Of the remaining adjustments, we expect to recognize $9.6 million of interest income and a $9.1 million reduction of non-interest income, for a net addition to pre-tax income of approximately $540,000 during 2013. The accretable yield adjustments recorded in future periods will change as the Company continues to evaluate expected cash flows from the acquired loan pools.

Non-Interest Income

Non-interest income for the fourth quarter was $14.8 million, compared to $12.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. “There was a $1.5 million incremental decrease in non-interest income compared to the fourth quarter last year due to reductions of the indemnification assets resulting from increased cash flows expected to be collected from the FDIC covered loan portfolios,” reiterated May. “Excluding the indemnification asset adjustment and a non-recurring $2.3 million bargain purchase gain on the Excel Bank acquisition, non-interest income increased $1.1 million, or 8.9%.”

Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $32.2 million, an increase of $3.7 million compared to the same period in 2011. “Included in the quarter were $1.1 million in merger related expenses and $2.4 million in normal operating expenses attributable to our FDIC-assisted acquisitions. Normalized for these acquisition related items, non-interest expense for the quarter increased by only 1%. Obviously, we continue to have good expense control as a result of the implementation of our efficiency initiatives,” added May.

Asset Quality

Beginning in 2010, the Company has acquired loans and foreclosed real estate (“OREO”) through FDIC-assisted acquisitions. Through the loss share provisions of the purchase and assumption agreements, the FDIC agreed to reimburse the Company for 80% of the losses incurred on the disposition of covered loans and OREO. The acquired loans and OREO and any related FDIC loss share indemnification asset were presented in the Company's financial reports with a carrying value equal to the discounted net present value of expected future proceeds. At December 31, 2012, acquired loans covered by loss share were carried at $211 million, OREO covered by loss share was carried at $28 million and the FDIC loss share indemnification asset was carried at $75 million. Acquired loans and OREO not covered by loss share were carried at $83 million and $12 million, respectively. As a result of  using the discounted net present value method of valuing these assets, and due to the significant protection against possible losses provided by the FDIC loss share indemnification, all acquired assets, with the exception of OREO not covered by loss share, are excluded from the computations of the asset quality ratios for the legacy loan portfolio, except for their inclusion in total assets.

The Company's allowance for loan losses was $27.9 million at December 31, 2012, or 1.71% of total loans and 232% of non-performing loans. Non-performing loans as a percent of total loans were 0.74% as of December 31, 2012 compared to 0.73% as of September 30, 2012. “Included in our non-performing assets was $11.8 million, net of a credit mark, of non-covered OREO we acquired in our two recent FDIC-assisted transactions. Normalizing for the acquired OREO, our legacy non-performing assets decreased $1.2 million for the previous quarter. Our legacy non-performing assets as a percent of total assets of 0.96% as of December 31, 2012 continues to compare favorably to the industry and our peer group,” commented May. For the fourth quarter, the annualized net charge-off ratio, excluding credit cards, was 0.24%, and the annualized credit card charge-off ratio was 1.54%.


At December 31, 2012, stockholders' equity was $406 million, book value per share was $24.55 and tangible book value per share was $20.66. The Company's ratio of stockholders' equity to total assets was 11.5% and its ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets was 9.9%, as of December 31, 2012.

“Our exceptional level of capital puts us in the 82nd percentile of our peer group and allows us to actively pursue the right opportunities that meet our strategic plan regarding mergers and acquisitions,” continued May. As of December 31, 2012, the Company’s regulatory capital ratios remain significantly higher than regulatory “well capitalized” guidelines:
     “Well Capitalized”    
Tier 1 Leverage Ratio
Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio
Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio
Stock Repurchase Program

During 2012, the Company repurchased approximately 726,000 shares at an average price of $24.24. The Company plans to continue to allocate its earnings, less dividends, to its stock repurchase program.

Simmons First National Corporation

Simmons First National Corporation is an eight bank financial holding company with community banks in Pine Bluff, Lake Village, Jonesboro, Rogers, Searcy, Russellville, El Dorado and Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Company’s eight banks conduct financial operations from 96 offices, of which 92 are financial centers, in 55 communities in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, including its recently acquired branches in Missouri. The Company’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SFNC”.

Conference Call

Management will conduct a conference call to review this information beginning at 3:00 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Interested persons can listen to this call by dialing 1-888-438-5524 (United States and Canada only) and asking for the Simmons First National Corporation conference call. A replay of the call will be available through 5:00 p.m. Central Time on January 30, 2013, by dialing 1-888-203-1112. The passcode for the replay is 1242917. In addition, the call will be available live or in recorded version on the Company’s website at www.simmonsfirst.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains financial information determined by methods other than in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Company’s management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in their analysis of the Company’s performance. These measures typically adjust GAAP performance measures to exclude the effects of the amortization of intangibles and include the tax benefit associated with revenue items that are tax-exempt, as well as adjust income available to common shareholders for certain significant activities or nonrecurring transactions. Since the presentation of these GAAP performance measures and their impact differ between companies, management believes presentations of these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful supplemental information that is essential to a proper understanding of the operating results of the Company’s core businesses. These non-GAAP disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for operating results determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures that may be presented by other companies.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not historical facts should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements of this type speak only as of the date of this news release. By nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risk and uncertainties. Various factors, including, but not limited to, economic conditions, credit quality, interest rates, loan demand and changes in the assumptions used in making the forward-looking statements, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Additional information on factors that might affect Simmons First National Corporation’s financial results is included in its Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Senior Vice President and Investor Relations Officer
Simmons First National Corporation
(870) 541-1000


The following information was filed by Simmons First National Corp (SFNC) on Thursday, January 24, 2013 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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