Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Simmons First National Corporation Fourth Quarter Earnings Call and Webcast. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) Please note, today's conference is being recorded.
I would now hand the conference over to David Garner. Please go ahead.
Good afternoon. I'm David Garner, Investor Relations Officer of Simmons First National Corporation. We want to welcome you to our fourth quarter earnings teleconference and webcast. Joining me today are George Makris, Chief Executive Officer; David Bartlett, Chief Banking Officer; and Bob Fehlman, Chief Financial Officer. Purpose of this call is to discuss the information and data provided by the company in our quarterly earnings release issued this morning. We will begin our discussion with prepared comments and then we will entertain questions. We have invited institutional investors and analysts from the investment firms that provide research on our company to participate in the question-and-answer session.
All other guests in this conference call are in a listen-only mode. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)
With that said, I'll turn the call over to George Makris.
Thank you, David, and welcome, everyone, to our fourth quarter conference call. In our press release issued earlier today, we reported record core earnings for the quarter and for the year. Fourth quarter core earnings were $11.4 million, an increase of 47% compared to the same quarter last year. Diluted core EPS were $0.64, a 33% increase quarter-over-quarter. Core earnings exclude $1.3 million in net income. Non-core items for the fourth quarter include an after-tax gain of $2.6 million related to the sale of previously closed branch facilities net of expenses related to maintaining the properties. These locations closed during the first quarter related to the integration of Metropolitan National Bank into Simmons Bank.
And after-tax expenses of $1.3 million related to merger expenses, change-in-control payments for Delta Trust and charter consolidation costs. Including these non-core items, net income for the fourth
was $12.6 million, an $8.9 million increase, over 234% over Q4 of 2013. And diluted EPS was $0.72 or 213% increase over the $0.23 recorded the same period last year. Year-to-date core earnings were $38.7 million and diluted core EPS was $2.29, compared to $27.6 million, and $1.69 last year. Year-to-date net income $35.7 million and diluted EPS was $2.11, compared to $23.2 million and $1.42 in 2013.On December 31, total assets were $4.6 billion, the combined loan portfolio was $2.7 billion, and stockholders' equity was $494 million.Net interest income for Q4 2014 was $47.4 million, an increase of $7.8 million or 19.6%, compared to Q4 2013.
This increase was driven by growth in our legacy loan portfolio and earning assets acquired through the Metropolitan and Delta Trust transactions.Net interest margin for the quarter was 4.65%. Normalized for the accretable yield adjustment impact, net interest margin was 3.87%, compared to 3.86% in Q3. As discussed in previous conference calls, interest income
EVP, Chief Accounting Officer
Chairman and CEO
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