Exhibit 99.1
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2014   


Pine Bluff, AR – Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ-GS: SFNC) today announced 2013 fourth quarter core earnings of $7.7 million, an increase of $345,000, or 4.7%, compared to the same quarter last year. Diluted core earnings per share were $0.48, a $0.04, or 9.1%, increase. Core earnings exclude $4.0 million in after-tax non-interest expenses related to merger costs and branch right sizing initiatives.  Including the non-core expenses, net income was $3.8 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.23.

For the year ended December 31, 2013, core earnings were $27.6 million, or $1.69 diluted core earnings per share, a $0.10, or 6.3%, increase from 2012. Year-to-date net income was $23.2 million, or $1.42 diluted earnings per share.

“We are pleased with the core earnings results for the fourth quarter and for the year. As a result of our fourth quarter acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank, other recent acquisitions and efficiency initiatives, we have and will continue to recognize one-time revenue and expense items which may skew our short-term business results but provide long-term performance benefits. Our focus continues to be improvement in core operating income,” commented George A. Makris, Jr., Chairman and CEO.


Total loans, including those acquired, were $2.4 billion at December 31, 2013, an increase of $483 million, or 25.1%, compared to the same period in 2012. Acquired loans increased by $369 million, net of discounts, while legacy loans (all loans excluding acquired loans) grew $114 million, or 7.0%. “We are encouraged by the continued growth in our legacy loan portfolio during the fourth quarter. We have had nice loan growth this year, particularly from the new lenders we have attracted in our targeted growth markets. Their production has exceeded our expectations through the end of the year,” added Makris.


At December 31, 2013, total deposits were $3.7 billion, an increase of $823 million, or 28.7%, compared to the same period in 2012. Total non-time deposits were $2.6 billion, or 70% of total deposits. Included in total deposits were $850 million from the Metropolitan transaction.

Net Interest Income

The Company’s net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $39.6 million, an increase of $9.0 million, or 29.5%, from the same period of 2012. This increase was driven by growth in the legacy loan portfolio, earning assets acquired through the Metropolitan transaction and an increase in accretable yield on acquired loans. Net interest margin was 4.70% for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, a 71 basis point increase from the same quarter of 2012. Included in interest income for both periods was the additional yield accretion recognized as a result of updated estimates of the cash flows of the loan pools acquired in the Company’s 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
Twelve Months Ended
(In thousands)
December 31
    December 31  
    2013     2012  
Impact on net interest income
8,802     $ 2,647       $ 18,905     $ 11,751  
Non-interest income
  (8,371 )     (2,510 )       (18,106 )     (10,755 )
     Net impact to pre-tax income
431     $ 137       $ 799     $ 996  

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 $33.0 million and the remaining adjustment to the indemnification assets that will reduce non-interest income is $25.6 million. Of the remaining adjustments, we expect to recognize $21.4 million of interest income and a $20.6 million reduction of non-interest income during 2014, resulting in a $0.8 million positive impact to pre-tax income. 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 $7.7 million, a decrease of $7.0 million, compared to the third quarter of 2012. The reduction in non-interest income was primarily due to the $5.9 million incremental reduction in non-interest income from the adjustment to the indemnification assets.  Also, included in non-interest income during the fourth quarter of 2012 was a $2.3 million bargain purchase gain on the Company’s FDIC-assisted acquisition of Excel Bank in Sedalia, Missouri.

Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $41.7 million, an increase of $9.5 million compared to the same period in 2012. Included in the quarter were $6.4 million of various merger related costs for the Company’s acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the Company recorded $1.1 million in merger related costs for its FDIC-assisted acquisitions, resulting in an increase in merger related expenses of $5.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. “During the fourth quarter there were $3.7 million in incremental normal operating expenses attributable to our acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank. We also closed one underperforming branch during the quarter, incurring one-time costs of $108,000. Excluding the acquisition related costs and the nonrecurring branch right sizing expenses, non-interest expense for the quarter increased by only 1.1%. Expense control remains a focus as we continue to search for additional efficiency opportunities,” added Makris.

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, 2013, acquired loans covered by loss share were carried at $147 million, OREO covered by loss share was carried at $21 million and the FDIC loss share indemnification asset was carried at $49 million. Acquired loans and OREO not covered by loss share were carried at $516 million and $45 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.

“It is important to remember that the acquired non-covered loans are protected by a credit mark and the acquired covered loans are protected by a credit mark and 80% loss coverage by the FDIC,” explained Makris. “At December 31, 2013, the allowance for loan losses was $27.4 million and the loan credit mark was $101.4 million, for a total of $128.8 million of coverage. This equates to a total coverage ratio of 5.1% of gross loans. The ratio of credit mark to acquired loans was 13.3%.” The Company's allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2013, was 1.57% of total loans and 298% of non-performing loans. Non-performing loans as a percent of total loans were 0.53% as of December 31, 2013. Non-performing assets increased $38.2 million from the previous quarter, to $74.1 million. Included in this quarter was $42.1 million of acquired OREO not covered by loss share, net of the credit mark, from the Metropolitan acquisition. For the full year of 2013, the annualized net charge-off ratio, excluding credit cards, was 0.15%, and the annualized credit card charge-off ratio was 1.33%.


At December 31, 2013, stockholders' equity was $404 million, book value per share was $24.89 and tangible book value per share was $19.10. The Company's ratio of stockholders' equity to total assets was 9.2% and its ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets was 7.2%, as of December 31, 2013.

Stock Repurchase Program

During 2013, the Company repurchased approximately 420,000 shares at an average price of $25.89. During the third quarter, the Company suspended its stock repurchase program.

Simmons First National Corporation

Simmons First National Corporation is a seven bank financial holding company with community banks in Pine Bluff, Lake Village, Jonesboro, Searcy, Russellville, El Dorado and Hot Springs, Arkansas and conducts banking operations in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. 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 23, 2014. Interested persons can listen to this call by dialing toll-free 1-888-481-2844 (United States and Canada only) and asking for the Simmons First National Corporation conference call, conference ID 2687609. 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 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.


Executive 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 23, 2014 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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