News in brief

Posted: April 21, 2017 at 1:44 a.m.

Bear State reports $4.9M in 1Q profit

Bear State Financial made $4.9 million in net income in the first quarter, up from $3.3 million in the same period last year, the Little Rock bank said Thursday.

Bear State earned 13 cents per share in the quarter, compared with 9 cents per share in the first quarter last year.

The bank had $2.2 billion in assets, up from $1.9 billion in the first quarter last year.

Bear State had an efficiency ratio of 63 percent in the first quarter, compared with 74 percent in the first quarter last year. That means it cost Bear State $63 to make $100.

Shares of Bear State rose 34 cents, or 3.8 percent, to close Thursday at $9.31.

-- David Smith

Tyson Foods hires sustainability chief

Tyson Foods Inc. has named a food industry consultant its first ever chief sustainability officer.

Justin Whitmore's new role is vital to the Springdale-based food giant's stated strategy of making sustainability a core company value, according to a Thursday release. Whitmore, who worked at McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm, starts the new job May 1. He will report directly to Tyson CEO Tom Hayes.

"Justin brings considerable operations experience to Tyson as well as an approach that breaks down barriers and unlocks the potential of teams," Hayes said in a statement.

Hayes, former Hillshire Foods executive, took over Tyson's top job at the first of the year. Tyson acquired Hillshire and its many well-known brands, such as Jimmy Dean and Ballpark, in 2014 for $7.7 billion.

In February, Tyson established a new senior leadership team, including three former Hillshire Brands employees, all reporting directly to Hayes. Earlier this month Tyson promoted Doug Ramsey, a longtime Tyson employee, to president of poultry operations.

-- John Magsam

State index closes at 343.26, up 4.83

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, rose 4.83 to 343.26 Thursday.

"Stocks traded higher with financials outperforming the broader market following U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's comments that the Trump administration is close to releasing a tax reform proposal," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

Total volume for the index was 31.1 million shares.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 04/21/2017