Home BancShares’ Q4 Beats Earnings Expectations

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Home BancShares Inc. of Conway on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income of $81.8 million, up 11% from the same quarter last year.

The parent company of Centennial Bank reported earnings of 50 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were 48 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 41 cents per share, according to the Associated Press.

Quarterly revenue was $199.4 million, and revenue net of interest expense was $181.9 million, which also beat Street forecasts of $172.6 million.

“While 2020 was dark in many ways, the lights were definitely on at Home BancShares,” Chairman John Allison said in a news release. “Q1 was an anomaly with the implementation of CECL, but it was followed up with record numbers in quarters two, three and four, and for that, I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Allison was referring to current expected credit losses, or CECL, a new accounting standard that took effect in 2020 that changed how large banks reserve for possible loan losses. CECL, along with the early effects of the pandemic, forced Home BancShares to reserve an extra $77 million for potential loan losses in its first quarter, sending earnings down by more than 99% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

For the year, the company reported profit of $214.4 million, down about 26% from 2019. Annual earnings per share came in at $1.30. Revenue was $694.3 million, up about 5% from 2019.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)