Bank of the Ozarks Hits New 52-Week High as Dow Rallies

by Gwen Moritz  on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 11:05 am  

Bank of the Ozarks stock (Nasdaq:OZRK) cracked through to a new 52-week high on Wednesday morning, rising more than 5 percent in early trading.

After closing at $26.74 per share on Tuesday, BOZ stock opened at $27.59 on Wednesday and climbed as high as $28.19 before settling back a few cents. Its previous 52-week high dates back to July, when the stock reached $54.42 before a two-for-one stock split in August.

BOZ was buoyed by a strong market rally following a liquidity injection by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the central banks of other countries. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 400 points, almost 4 percent, by mid-morning. But Bank of the Ozarks may also have benefited from a positive mention by Stephens Inc. bank analyst Matt Olney in an interview published by Barron's on Tuesday.

"We're working hard every day to add long term value to our shareholders and provide our customers with exceptional service. We like it when the strong fundamentals of our company are recognized by the markets," Bank of the Ozarks EVP Susan Blair told

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway was also among the banks that Olney said "we like the most." Its stock price (Nasdaq:HOMB) was also up more than 4 percent on Wednesday morning, trading as high as $24.60 but not quite to its 52-week high of $25 from back in July.

Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq:SFNC) stock price was up almost 5 percent to $25.78. The state's only other publicly traded financial institution, thinly traded First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas (Nasdaq:FFBH) wasn't participating in Wednesday's rally, with no trades being reported.




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