Simmons bank earnings top expectations

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) _ Simmons First National Corp. (SFNC) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $53 million.

The bank, based in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, said it had earnings of 49 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 40 cents per share.

The bank holding company posted revenue of $223.2 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $199 million, which did not meet Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $199.4 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of $254.9 million, or $2.31 per share. Revenue was reported as $888.3 million.

Simmons First National shares have risen 23% since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased almost 3% in the last 12 months.