Bank OZK Buzz Draws Talk of Class Action

Bank OZK Buzz Draws Talk of Class Action
George Gleason, chairman and CEO of Bank OZK (Karen E. Segrave)

The trawling for clients to support a class-action lawsuit against Bank OZK began on Oct. 19. That’s when shares lost more than a quarter of their value when third-quarter earnings missed analysts’ estimates by 32 cents per share. The price has not rebounded since.

Get The Lists - Public Companies
Executive Compensation
Annual Reports
Financial Institutions

After an incredible run of profitability growth, the bank’s real estate specialties group finally registered a $45.5 million lick on two legacy commercial loans.

Bank OZK recorded a $74.2 million profit in the third quarter, a 22.7 percent decrease compared with the third quarter of 2017.

George Gleason, Bank OZK’s founding chairman and CEO, noted during the Oct. 19 conference call with analysts that the RESG portfolio has had only five losses during the past 15 years.

“We will occasionally, in a quarter here and there, in a year here and there, have a loss on the RESG portfolio,” Gleason said. “But we’re not changing our business model at all because we believe it is very, very sound and very, very conservative. So it’s business as usual for us, and we still are originating loans.”