Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:GSBC) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 22, 2020 • 03:00 pm ET
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Great Southern Bancorp Incorporated Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please be advised that today's conference may be recorded.
I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Kelly Polonus with Investor Relations. Please go ahead, ma'am.
Thank you, Sydney. Good afternoon, and welcome to our call. The purpose of this call is to discuss the Company's results for the quarter ending December 31, 2019. Before we begin, I need to remind you that during the course of this call, we may make forward-looking statements about future events and financial performance. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made.
These statements are subject to a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated or projected. For a list of some of these factors, please see the forward-looking statements disclosure in our fourth quarter 2019 earnings release.
President and CEO, Joe Turner, and Chief Financial Officer, Rex Copeland, are on the call today, and I'll now turn the call over to Joe.
Joseph W. Turner
All right. Thanks, Kelly. Good afternoon. I also would like to thank you for joining us on our fourth quarter earnings call. As is usual, I'll go over at a high level our Company's performance and then turn the call over to Rex, who will go into a little more detail on the income statement. And then we'll open it up for questions.
Hopefully, you've had a chance to at least glance at our earnings release. If you have, you've seen that we had a solid quarter, especially given the interest rate and competitive environment. We earned $1.24 per diluted common share during the quarter or $17.9 million. In the full year, we achieved our -- the highest annual net income we ever have at $73.6 million and $5.14 per common share.
Our performance metrics during the quarter were return on common equity 11.78%, return on assets 1.44%, our margin was 3.82% and our efficiency ratio was 56.11%. Loan production in the fourth quarter was pretty solid. You probably noticed that our net loan balances were down about $3 million, but our gross loan balances, which include unfunded commitments, construction loan balances, were up about $34 million. Our net loan balances were up $165 million during the full-year 2019 and gross loan balances were up about $99 million.
I think we said last quarter and maybe previous quarters that it does seem to be getting a little bit more competitive. The lending environment seems to be getting a little bit more difficult, maybe spreads -- credit spreads are shrinking on our loan products, and I think all that's still accurate. It's not a dramatic thing though. If you have a chance, you can look at Page 7 of our earnings release where we include a table on our unfunded commitments. And really the