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Simmons to merge subsidiary banks

Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. announced in a Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it intends to consolidate its seven subsidiary banks into a single banking organization.

Third round of layoffs at Acxiom begins

A third, and likely final, wave of layoffs at Little Rock-based Acxiom Corp. began on Wednesday as the database marketer continued its push to realign its work force to meet changing industry demands. Acxiom indicated in November 2013 it would cut its overall labor force by March in an effort to save $20 million to $30 million annually. Approximately 200 workers nationwide were part of the latest round of layoffs with around 100 in Arkansas.

Walmart profits tumble

Revenues grew modestly, but profits took a tumble as Walmart reported its fourth-quarter and full-year financials. The Bentonville-based retail giant reported fourth-quarter net income of $4.43 billion on sales of $128.8 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year. The quarter included the negative impact of about $1.8 billion from currency exchange rate fluctuations. Last year Walmart posted fourth-quarter profits of $5.86 billion on revenue of $127.77 billion.

Calls for Darr’s resignation grow

Gov. Mike Beebe and a number of other Arkansas elected officials and candidates called on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign after he was fined $11,000 for ethics violations. A review of Darr’s office expenses by legislative auditors also turned up discrepancies and improper payments for personal use. Darr said he had no plans to resign.

Cheesewright to succeed Mcmillon with Wal-Mart International

David Cheesewright, 51, has been appointed executive vice president, president and chief executive officer of the International division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., effective Feb. 1, 2014. Cheesewright will succeed CEO-elect Doug McMillon. Since September 2011, Cheesewright has served as head of a regional management team responsible for Wal-Mart’s retail operations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa.