Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, parent company of Centennial Bank, announced Thursday its net income was $17.6 million in 2010 compared to $26.8 million in 2009.

Diluted earnings per share were 52 cents compared to $1.02 in 2009.

The company had a net loss of $13.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 due to $53.4 million in charge-offs for impairment to certain loans, a $3.6 million charge as a result of an apparent fraud on bonds sold in Arkansas and $2.2 million for merger expenses from two FDIC-assisted acquisitions.

As announced in early January, the combined financial impact of those items after-tax is a lost of $26.5 million or 93 cents diluted loss per share.

John Allison, chairman of the board, said the company’s "sound balance sheet affords us the ability to take these charge-offs and provisions without raising additional capital."

"We have remained extremely well capitalized through the years. ...We will continue to have capital levels considerably above the capital requirement of our regulators," Allison said.

CEO Randy Sims said while they are displeased with the credit quality issues, "We are optimistic of the improvements in base earnings ... and expecting the FDIC-assisted acquisitions completed during 2010 will continue to provide progress in our base earnings."

Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2010 was a quarterly record for the company, Sims said, increasing 38.5 percent to $33.4 million compared to $24.1 million for the same quarter in 2009.

Allison said, "Due to our conservative stance, we have maintained strong capital and reserves for difficult times like these."