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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.

Tyson Foods closes year on record note

Tyson Foods closed its fiscal year on a strong note as it posted record sales and earnings, while announcing several leadership changes in its management structure. The Springdale-based meat company recorded fourth-quarter earnings of $261 million on sales of $8.89 billion. One year ago, Tyson Foods posted net income of $185 million on revenue of $8.32 billion.

Business Briefs - Pulaski County schools close to desegregation agreement, AG says

The three Pulaski County school districts will receive three years’ worth of desegregation payments, plus another year of equal payments for academic facilities only, under an agreement reached between Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office and the school districts, McDaniel told a legislative panel Thursday. McDaniel told the Joint Subcommittee on Desegregation Litigation Oversight that the agreement has not been finalized. However, he did express confidence that the districts’ school boards would agree to the deal.