Bank OZK 4Q Down 12% But Above Expectations

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Bank OZK of Little Rock on Thursday reported fourth-quarter profit of $100.8 million, down 12% from $115.0 million in the same quarter last year.

Earnings were 78 cents per share, down from 89 cents in the same quarter last year.

Still, the results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 76 cents per share.

The bank posted revenue of $311.4 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $245.4 million, also topping Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $238.8 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of $425.9 million, or $3.30 per share. Revenue was reported as $991.7 million.

“We are very pleased to have achieved record net income of $425.9 million in 2019 and a 1.87% return on average assets,” George Gleason, chairman and CEO, said in a news release.

“Our strong credit culture and consistent discipline have been important ingredients in our long term success, and we are not wavering from those principles in today’s challenging competitive and interest rate environment,” he said. “We believe our competitive advantages will allow us to capitalize on opportunities throughout 2020 and beyond.”

Bank OZK shares have increased 1% since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $30.81, a rise of 12% in the last 12 months.

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