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Simmons First National reports higher Q3 core earnings YOY

Pine Bluff, Ark.-based Simmons First National Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $81.8 million, or 84 cents per share, compared to $55.2 million, or 59 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Core earnings, an adjusted non-GAAP metric, totaled $84.0 million, or 87 cents per share, up from $56.5 million, or 61 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the latest quarter was 64 cents.

Third-quarter net interest income was $150.2 million, up 5.0% from $143.0 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net loans stood at $12.94 billion, compared to $13.06 billion in the linked quarter and $11.80 billion in the third quarter of 2018. Total deposits were at $13.47 billion, compared to $13.52 billion in the linked quarter and $12.09 billion in the year-ago period.

The net interest margin was 3.81% for the third quarter, compared with 3.92% in the previous quarter and 3.98% in the year-ago quarter. Core net interest margin was 3.58% for the most recent quarter, compared to 3.66% in the second quarter and 3.71% in the third quarter of 2018.

Provision for loan losses for the third quarter was $22.0 million, increases of $11.6 million when compared to Sept. 30, 2018, and $14.9 million when compared to the second quarter of 2019. The sequential increase in the provision for loan losses was due to recording a special provision of $15.0 million during the third quarter, specifically related to the charge-off of a participation interest in a shared national credit to White Star Petroleum LLC.

In addition, the company's board authorized a new stock repurchase program, under which the company may repurchase up to $60 million of its class A common stock currently issued and outstanding. The program will terminate on Oct. 31, 2021, unless terminated sooner. The new program replaces the company's existing stock repurchase program, which was announced on July 23, 2012.