First Federal, 5 Other Arkansas Stocks Rise in 2Q

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas Inc., the publicly traded holding company for First Federal Bank of Harrison, saw its stock price improve by almost 19 percent during the second quarter, once again leading Arkansas' publicly traded firms in quarterly stock performance.

The stock (Nasdaq: FFBH) closed at $8.10 on Friday, up from its March 30 closing price of $6.82. The company, hit hard by loan losses in northwest Arkansas, was recapitalized last year and is now under the leadership of CEO Dabbs Cavin.

It was the biggest winner among Arkansas stocks during the second quarter of trading, which ended with the closing bell on Friday afternoon. It was one of only six Arkansas stocks ending the second quarter with gains. The state's 11 other stocks saw shares end the quarter unchanged or lower.

First Federal also recorded the biggest gain of the first six months of the year, with shares up about 84 percent from its Jan. 2 opening price.

Another bank company, Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, saw the second-biggest gain of the quarter. Its shares (Nasdaq: HOMB) closed at $30.58, up nearly 15 percent from its March 30 closing price of $26.61. Over the last six months, its shares have risen about 16 percent.

Only one other company recorded a double-digit gain. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville (NYSE: WMT), the world's largest retailer, rose about 14 percent to $69.72 per share.

The gain came amid allegations, detailed in The New York Times in April, that the retailer engaged in bribery and corruption in Mexico. Wal-Mart and the federal government continue to investigate the matter.

Here's how other Arkansas stocks performed in the second quarter:

  • J.B. Hunt Transport Services of Lowell, up 10 percent to $59.60.
  • Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock, up 3 percent to $15.11.
  • Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock, up 1 percent to $63.68.
  • Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. of Springdale, unchanged at 7 cents.
  • Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, down 2 percent to $18.83.
  • Deltic Timber Corp. of El Dorado, down 4 percent to $60.98.
  • Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, down 4 percent to $30.08.
  • Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff, down 10 percent to $23.25.
  • Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado, down 11 percent to $50.29.
  • America's Car-Mart Inc. of Bentonville, down 12 percent $38.85.
  • P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc., down 14 percent to $9.65.
  • Windstream Corp. of Little Rock, down 18 percent to $9.66.
  • Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith, down 33 percent to $12.60.
  • USA Truck Inc. Van Buren, down 38 percent to $4.78.