Home BancShares (HOMB) in Conway, Ark., got a big boost last quarter from a recent acquisition.

It reported a second-quarter profit of $28.4 million, up 60% from a year earlier. However, its earnings per share of 43 fell 1 cent short of analysts' average estimates.

Home's assets increased nearly 63%, to $6.6 billion, thanks largely to its acquisition last fall of Liberty Bancshares in Jonesboro, Ark. Deposits also increased 61%, to roughly $5.2 billion.

Net interest income increased 74%, to $78 million. Net interest margin increased 32 basis points to 5.50% because of overall credit improvements and pricing on interest-bearing deposits.

The company reported $11.5 million in noninterest income , up more than 17% from a year earlier, primarily driven by $6.2 million in service charges on deposits and other service charges and fees.

Noninterest expense increased 49%, to $38.6 million, primarily on costs associated with the acquisition of Liberty during the fourth quarter.

Also during the second quarter, the company said in the release, it closed or merged four branches in Arkansas and two branches Florida and is planning to open a branch in Naples, Fla., in the third quarter. It currently has 83 branches in Arkansas, 50 in Florida and 7 in Alabama.

Meanwhile, Home on Thursday said it completed its $43 million deal to buy Florida Traditions in Dade City. Home now has $7 billion in assets as a result.

"During the upcoming quarters, we recognize there is a need for organic loan growth," Chairman John Allison said in the earnings release. And "we plan to achieve the anticipated cost savings [from the Florida Traditions acquisition] as quickly as possible."

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