TUPELO – It was a busy day for BancorpSouth on Wednesday as it announced its second merger in as many weeks, as well as its fourth-quarter earnings.
Earlier in the day, the company said it had reached an agreement to buy Texas-based Central Community Corp, the parent of First State Bank Central Texas for $209.5 million.
It later said fourth-quarter net income reached $27.7 million, or 29 cents per share, compared to $17 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.
BancorpSouth’s net loans grew for a third consecutive quarter and grew an annualized 8.4 percent to $184.9 million.
The company also didn’t have a provision for loan losses. A year ago, it set aside $6 million.
In addition, its net margin – the percentage difference between the interest a bank earns from loans and investments and the interest it pays to depositors – rose to 3.52 percent from the third quarter’s 3.45 percent. It was second consecutive quarter of an increase in the bank’s net margin.
Net interest income for the quarter was $102.3 million, a 1.5 percent increase from a year earlier
For all of 2013, BancorpSouth reported net income of $94.1 million, or 99 cents a share, compared to $84.3 million, or 90 cents a share a year earlier.
Total assets were $13 billion at the end of the year, compared with $13.4 billion at the end of 2012. Total deposits were $10.8 billion compared with $11.1 billion a year earlier. Loans and leases, net of unearned income, were $9 billion compared with $8.6 billion in 2012.
Said BancorpSouth CEO Dan Rollins, “Going into the year, we consistently communicated the need to grow while improving our cost structure. We have made meaningful strides towards both goals. … We are excited about the two bank deals that have been announced this month and the opportunities they will provide for our company going forward. We believe both of these deals will be an integral part of our strategy to grow and to better leverage our current operating structure.”
Nonperforming loans dropped to $23.9 million in the fourth quarter. For the year, NPLs were $120.4 million, a 48.5 percent decline from $233.6 million a year earlier.
Net charge-offs were $700,000 for the fourth quarter, compared to $10.6 million for year-ago quarter.
Noninterest revenue for the fourth quarter fell to $65.1 million from $70.9 million a year earlier.
Mortgage origination volume continued to drop: For the fourth quarter, BancorpSouth logged $222.3 million, compared to $341.9 million in the third quarter and $549.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Credit and debit card fee revenue in the quarter rose to $8.3 million from $8.1 million. Insurance commission revenue in the quarter grew to $21.4 million compared with $20.5 million a year ago.
Bank officials also declared a 5-cent dividend, to be paid April 1 to shareholders of record on March 14.