Simmons First National Corp. on Tuesday reported net income of $74.9 million for the second quarter of 2021, a year-to-date increase of 27 percent.
Simmons reported net income of $58.8 million for the second quarter of 2020. On a year-to-date basis, net income for the first half of 2021 was $142.3 million, or $1.31 diluted earnings per share, compared to $136.0 million, or $1.22 diluted earnings per share, for the first half of 2020.
Excluding $2.9 million in net after-tax merger-related and net branch right-sizing costs and the after-tax gain primarily associated with the sale of branches in Illinois, core earnings for the first half of 2021 were $139.4 million, an increase of $5.4 million compared to the first half of last year, according to company officials. Core diluted earnings per share for the first half of 2021 were $1.28, an increase of $0.07, or 6 percent, from the comparable period of 2020.
Other highlights from the quarter included:
- Diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of 2021 were $0.69, an increase of $0.15 or 28 percent;
- After-tax merger-related and net branch right-sizing costs netted $524,000;
- Core earnings were $75.4 million for the second quarter of 2021, compared to $60.1 million for the second quarter of 2020, an increase of $15.3 million or 25 percent;
- Core diluted earnings per share were $0.69, an increase of $0.14 or 25 percent, from the comparable period in 2020.
Simmons Chairman and CEO George A, Makris Jr.’s statement:
“Overall, we were very pleased with our results for the quarter as we delivered solid performance in multiple areas while continuing to navigate the challenging environment. While loan growth throughout the financial services industry continues to be hampered by the significant amounts of government stimulus in the economy that has resulted in sluggish loan demand and historically high levels of paydowns, Simmons generated $1.8 billion in loan originations and advances during the first half of 2021, putting us on pace to significantly exceed loan production volume reported for the full-year of 2020. Our commercial loan pipeline has increased for three consecutive quarters and we are cautiously optimistic that this trend is a positive sign going forward.
“At the same time, asset quality metrics continued to improve as certain initially anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on asset quality have thus far failed to materialize. As such, we recorded the recapture of $13 million of provision expense during the quarter while maintaining our nonperforming loan coverage ratio and an appropriate allowance to loan ratio that is reflective of the uncertainty in the economy and associated risk in our loan portfolio. As a result of our solid results in the quarter and our strong asset quality and capital positions, Simmons’ board of directors extended and increased the authorization under our share repurchase program, thus increasing our remaining capacity under the program to approximately $150 million and extending the program’s scheduled expiration to October 2022.”