Business: Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. Reports Preliminary Second Quarter Earnings of $1.28 Per Diluted Common Share

SPRINGFIELD, MO (STL.News) – Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GSBC), the holding company for Great Southern Bank, Wednesday reported that preliminary earnings for the three months ended June 30, 2019, were $1.28 per diluted common share ($18.4 million available to common shareholders) compared to $0.97 per diluted common share ($13.8 million available to common shareholders) for the three months ended June 30, 2018.

Preliminary earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2019, were $2.52 per diluted common share ($36.0 million available to common shareholders) compared to $1.91 per diluted common share ($27.3 million available to common shareholders) for the six months ended June 30, 2018.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2019, annualized return on average common equity was 13.24%, return on average assets was 1.52%, and net interest margin was 3.97%, compared to 11.32%, 1.23% and 3.94%, respectively, for the quarter ended June 30, 2018.  For the six months ended June 30, 2019, annualized return on average common equity was 13.18%, return on average assets was 1.51%, and net interest margin was 4.02%, compared to 11.27%, 1.23% and 3.93%, respectively, for the six months ended June 30, 2018.

President and CEO Joseph W. Turner commented, “Coming off of a very solid performance in the first three months of 2019, we again achieved excellent earnings during the second quarter.  Return on average assets and return on common equity were strong at 1.52% and 13.24%, respectively.  Our efficiency ratio of 54.50% improved further from the first quarter of 2019 and compared to the year ago quarter, reflecting net interest income increases and our sharp focus on expense containment.  Capital remains strong and our book value per share continues to grow.  Net interest margin was 3.97% in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 4.06% in the first quarter of 2019 and 3.94% in the 2018 second quarter.  Compared to the 2019 first quarter, compression in our margin was caused primarily by higher average interest rates on deposits and borrowings and slightly lower yields on loans due to lower LIBOR interest rates.

“Credit quality metrics remain good and classified assets are at low levels.  We always anticipate that non-performing asset totals will fluctuate from time to time.  As such, in the second quarter, we saw a modest increase in non-performing loans, which was primarily related to one borrower relationship.  A portion of this relationship has been included in our watchlist for some time and was originated several years ago.”

Turner continued, “We experienced healthy loan growth during the quarter. Outstanding net loan receivable balances grew by $123.5 million from the end of 2018, and increased $62.1 million from March 31, 2019.  Total gross loan balances, which include unfunded loans, increased $42.2 million from the end of 2018, and grew $53.6 from the end of the first quarter of 2019.  Loan growth was primarily in commercial real estate loans, commercial construction loans, one- to four-family residential loans and multi-family loans.  Our loan pipeline continues to be strong across the franchise.”

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