By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

Renasant Corp.on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $38.7 million, or 67 cents per share.

For the fourth quarter a year ago, the Tupelo-based bank had earnings of $44.4 million, or 76 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 65 cents per share.

The holding company for Renasant Bank posted revenue of $170.6 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $146.8 million, missing Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $147.1 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of $167.9 million, or $2.88 per share. Revenue was reported as $597.3 million. A year earlier, Renasant posted a profit of $146.9 million, or $2.79 per share.

“We closed 2019 on a strong note and maintained solid performance ratios through the fourth quarter even while absorbing the full impact of two interest rate cuts on our margin during the quarter,” said Renasant Chairman E. Robinson McGraw. “Our management team did an excellent job of navigating through the headwinds we faced throughout 2019 and has us well positioned for continued success in 2020 and beyond. We also continued to prudently manage our capital structure and repurchased approximately $21.3 million of our common stock in the quarter.”

At the end of 2019, Renasant’s total assets were $13.4 billion, compared to $12.93 billion at the end of 2018.

Total loans held for investment were $9.69 billion compared to $9.08 billion a year earlier.

Total deposits increased to $10.21 billion from $10.13 billion. Non-interest bearing deposits increased $233.1 million to $2.55 billion, or 24.99% of total deposits, compared to $2.32 billion, or 22.89% of total deposits.

Net interest income was $109.3 million for the fourth quarter versus $115.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Net interest income was $444.1 million for all of the year, up from $396.5 million for a year earlier.

“Our fourth quarter results were highlighted by continued strong loan growth,” said Renasant President and CEO C. Mitchell Waycaster. “Throughout our footprint our team members are continuing to execute our growth strategy previously laid out. In addition to strong loan growth year over year, we continued to prioritize growing non-interest bearing deposits, which lowers the cost of funding needed to support our loan growth.”