Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC) Q3 2016 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Oct 20, 2016 • 04:00 pm ET

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Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC) Q3 2016 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Simmons First National Corporation Third 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 follow at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, today's conference call is being recorded.I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Burt Hicks. Please go ahead.

Executive
Burt Hicks

Good afternoon. My name is Burt Hicks, and I serve as Investor Relations Officer of Simmons First National Corporation. We welcome you to our third quarter earnings teleconference and webcast.

Joining me today are George Makris, Chairman and CEO; Bob Fehlman, CFO; Marty Casteel, President and CEO of Simmons Bank, our wholly-owned bank subsidiary; Barry Ledbetter, Chief Banking Officer; and David Garner, CAO.

The purpose of this call is to discuss the information and data provided by the company in our quarterly earnings release issued yesterday and to discuss our company's outlook for the future. We will begin our discussion with prepared comments, followed by a question-and-answer session. We have invited institutional investors and analysts from the equity firms that provide research on our company to participate in the Q&A session. All other guests in this conference are in a listen-only mode. A transcript of today's call, including our prepared remarks and the Q&A session, will be posted on our new website, simmonsbank.com under the Investor Relations tab.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

Lastly, in this presentation, we will discuss certain GAAP and non-GAAP financial metrics. Please note that the reconciliation of those metrics is contained in our current report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday on Form 8-K. Any references to non-GAAP core financial measures are intended to provide meaningful insights. 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.

With that said, I'll now turn the call over to George Makris.

Executive
George Makris

Thanks, Burt, and welcome to our third quarter earnings conference call. First, I would like to welcome our newest associates from Citizens National Bank to the Simmons team. We closed that transaction on September 9 and we'll convert systems over this weekend. We look forward to continued growth in East Tennessee markets.

In our press release issued yesterday, we reported net income of $23.4 million for the third quarter of 2016, an increase of $1.8 million or 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share was $0.76, an increase of $0.04 or 5.6%.

Included in the third quarter earnings were $953,000 in net after-tax merger-related and branch rightsizing costs. Excluding the impact of these items, the company's core earnings were $24.4 million for the third quarter of 2016. Diluted core earnings per share were $0.79.

We continue to be very pleased with our operating performance. For the quarter, our efficiency ratio was 53.8%; return on assets, 1.21%; return on