Home BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ GS: HOMB), parent company of Centennial Bank, announced Thursday a third quarter net income of $18.4 million, or $0.33 diluted earnings per common share, compared to $16.1 million of net income, or $0.28 diluted earnings per common share (split adjusted) for the same quarter in 2012. The Company increased its third quarter earnings by $2.3 million or 14.1 percent for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period of the previous year, according to a Home BancShares release.

Because acquisitions are growth and capital management strategies, earnings excluding amortization of intangibles after-tax are useful in evaluating the Company. Diluted earnings per common share excluding intangible amortization for the third quarter of 2013 was $0.33 compared to $0.29 diluted earnings per common share excluding intangible amortization (split adjusted) for the same period in 2012.

"Home BancShares has achieved yet another record quarter for net income, making it the tenth consecutive quarter to meet this outstanding accomplishment," said John Allison, chairman. "Our strong capital levels continue to remain considerably above the regulators’ capital requirements, while our strong reserves have placed us in a position to partake in an opportunity like the upcoming Liberty Bank market acquisition. This game-changing merger of these two similarly sized Arkansas-based companies with comparable cultures and history makes us confidently optimistic of the Company’s continued bright future when Liberty gets on board."

Randy Sims, chief executive officer, added, "The $704,000 or 4.0 percent increase from our previously reported record earnings is truly another outstanding achievement. The Company also reported exceptional results for return on average assets of 1.80 percent, net interest margin of 5.41percent and efficiency ratio of 45.67 percent."

Operating Highlights

Net interest income for the third quarter of 2013 increased 20.0% to $46.4 million from $38.6 million during the third quarter of 2012. For the third quarter of 2013, the effective yield on non-covered loans and covered loans was 5.88% and 12.76%, respectively. Net interest margin, on a fully taxable equivalent basis, was 5.41% for the quarter just ended compared to 4.65% in the third quarter of 2012, an increase of 76 basis points. The Company was able to expand its net interest margin because of its ability to improve pricing on interest bearing deposits combined with additional yield on FDIC loss sharing loans which more than offset the lower interest rates on newly originated loans in the loan portfolio during this historically low rate environment.

The Company reported $9.3 million of non-interest income for the third quarter of 2013, compared to $10.6 million for the third quarter of 2012. The most important components of the third quarter non-interest income were $4.1 million from service charges on deposits accounts, $3.7 million from other service charges and fees, $1.5 million from mortgage lending income, $1.0 million from other income, $777,000 from gain on sale of other real estate owned, $519,000 from insurance commissions, and $303,000 from gain on sale of assets offset by the $3.2 million of net amortization on the FDIC indemnification asset.

Non-interest expense for the third quarter of 2013 was $26.7 million compared to $24.0 million for the third quarter of 2012. This increase is primarily associated with the acquisition of Heritage Bank of Florida and Premier Bank during the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding merger expenses non-interest expense improved by $173,000 for the third quarter of 2013 from the second quarter of 2013. For the third quarter of 2013, our core efficiency ratio was 44.8 percent which was an enhancement of 100 basis points from the second quarter of 2013.