On Sep 18, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Simmons First National Corporation
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Simmons First National has been witnessing rising earnings
estimates on the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results.
Moreover, this Southeast bank has delivered positive earnings
surprise in 2 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of
Simmons First National reported second-quarter results on Jul 18
with earnings per share of 39 cents, lagging the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by 2.50% but beating the prior-year earnings by 2.6%.
Higher expenses and increased provisions, partly offset by a rise
in revenues led to the quarterly miss.
Total revenues rose 4.0% year over year to $88.4 million. This
increase reflected growth in interest income as well as fee
income. Net interest income increased 8.5% to $60.0 million.
Moreover, non-interest income increased 3.5% to $2.6 million.
However, on the downside, expenses increased 9.4% to $62.2
million, as compared with the prior-year period. Higher salaries
and occupancy, along with rise in other expenses primarily led to
the increase. Provision for credit losses increased 26.3% year
over year to $2.0 million.
Additionally on Aug 29, Simmons First National announced a 5.0%
increase in its quarterly cash dividend. The new dividend of 21
cents per share will be paid on Oct 1, 2013 to shareholders of
record on Sep 16, 2013.
Further, on Sep 12, Simmons First National announced that the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved a stock purchase agreement
signed between Simmons First National and Rogers Bancshares, Inc.
for the shares of Metropolitan National Bank. Simmons First
National will purchase all the issued and outstanding common
shares of Metropolitan National Bank. As per the deal, Rogers
Bancshares will receive $53.6 million in cash. The transaction,
which is subject to regulatory approvals, will expectedly close
during the fourth quarter of this year.
Following second-quarter 2013 results, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for 2013 increased 0.6% to $2.26 per share on the back
of 1 of the 2 upward estimate revisions, over the last 60 days.
For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 22.9% to $2.15
per share with both the estimates moving north over the same time
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Simmons First National, other Southeast banks with a
Zacks Rank #1 include
Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida
Yadkin Financial Corporation
SEACOAST BKNG A (SBCF): Free Stock Analysis
SIMMONS FIRST A (SFNC): Free Stock Analysis
WESBANCO INC (WSBC): Free Stock Analysis
YADKIN FINL CP (YDKN): Free Stock Analysis
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