2019 proved to be a good year for Simmons First National Corporation, the holding company of Simmons Bank.
The company posted record earnings for 2019, racking up 237.8 million in net income. For comparison, Simmons reported $215.7 million in earnings for 2018 – a difference of $22.1 million between the two years.
Simmons Bank’s core earnings in 2019 amounted to $269.6 million, a 22.4 percent increase over 2018’s core earnings. That year, Simmons had $220.2 million in core earnings.
“We are very proud of our results for 2019,” George A. Makris, Jr., chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Corporation, said in a statement “Not only did we produce excellent financial results, we welcomed new associates from Reliance Bank in St. Louis and Landmark Bank in Columbia, MO to the Simmons family.
Diluted earnings per share were $2.41 in 2019, an increase from 2018’s rate of $2.32 per share. The return on average common equity and the return on tangible common equity, however, decreased in 2019. Simmons posted a 9.93 percent return on common equity and a 17.99 percent return on tangible common equity, in contrast to 2018’s reported 10 percent and 18.44 percent, respectively.
During the earnings call, Simmons Bank announced the retirement of two executives.
One of the retirement announcements was for Marty Casteel, a senior executive vice president and company director. Casteel is set to retire, effective March 31.
“For over thirty years, Marty has been a critical component of Simmons’ success,” said Makris. “With deep knowledge, experience, and integrity, Marty has provided incredible leadership to our organization and masterfully overseen its recent transformation through acquisitions with great care and compassion for all involved. I am personally extremely grateful for his presence and counsel during my tenure with this company, and I am thankful Marty has agreed to remain affiliated with it as a director. On behalf of everyone at Simmons, I’d like to congratulate Marty on a job very well done and wish him the best as he begins his next chapter.”
Makris is set to assume the role of chairman, president and chief executive officer of Simmons Bank upon Casteel’s retirement. Makris will retain his current roles of chairman and CEO for Simmons First National Corporation.
Executive vice president and general counsel Patrick Burrow will also retire in 2020. His retirement date is also set at March 31.