Home BancShares Inc. in Conway, Ark., expects a spike in its loan-loss provision when it reports fourth-quarter results.

The charge could be partially offset by a $25 million pretax gain that resulted from two recent failed-bank acquisitions.

In a preliminary earnings announcement Monday, the $3.3 billion-asset company said it expects to record a provision of $60 million to $65 million, or more than 20 times the $3 million it recorded a quarter earlier.

Home attributed the provision increase to roughly $53 million in impairment charges that were required for certain loans at yearend. The higher provision could decrease diluted earnings by as much as $1.38, according to a press release.

The possible gain from deals with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could boost earnings per share by 49 cents, after merger costs.

Home said it expects to report a $17 million gain on its Oct. 1 purchase of Wakulla Bank in Crawfordville, Fla., and an $8.1 million gain from its Nov. 19 acquisition of Gulf State Community Bank in Carrabelle, Fla.

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