Stephen Rosenman
Long/short equity, Deep Value, special situations

Simmons First: Adeptly Playing 'Let's Make A Deal'

Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC) has received little market recognition (3 analyst coverage; low institution ownership if you exclude employee stock ownership plan; a wee $600 million market cap). Indeed, it's easy to overlook the company in view of the following specs: $4 billion-asset Arkansas-based regional bank with its main office in backwater Pine Bluff (population 47,000). At first glance, there is not much to differentiate Simmons from the usual sleepy community bank.

I caution you: Don't let the bank's size or geography fool you. In 6 months, the analyst community and institutional investors will be paying Simmons a good deal more attention. This is going to be one of those "where-did-this-company-come-from?" stocks. Managers who buy Simmons before...

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