Bank OZK Beats Earnings Estimates in 4Q

Bank OZK Beats Earnings Estimates in 4Q

Bank OZK of Little Rock on Thursday announced fourth-quarter net income of $115 million, down 21 percent from the same quarter last year, when the company got a big boost from a tax reform plan approved by Congress. 

Earnings per share was 89 cents, beating analysts estimates of 83 cents per share.

For the full year, net income was $417.1 million, or $3.24 per share, down from $421.9 million, or $3.35, for 2017.

"We had excellent fourth quarter results, achieving our most profitable quarter of the year with net income of $115 million and an annualized return on average assets of 2.04 percent," Chairman and CEO George Gleason said in a news release. "For the full year of 2018, our net income was $417.1 million and our return on average assets was 1.9 percent. 

"Our strong net income in 2018 resulted in meaningful increases in our already strong risk based capital ratios and allowed us to increase our cash dividends each quarter."

During the fourth quarter of 2017, the bank got a one-time income tax benefit of $49.8 million due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted Dec. 22, 2017. In 2018, the company incurred pre-tax expenses of $300,000 for the fourth quarter and $11.7 million for the full year related to its name change and rebranding.

Annual income totaled $417.1 million for 2018, a 1.1 percent decrease from $421.9 million the previous year. Diluted earnings per common share for the full year of 2018 were $3.24, a 3.3 percent decrease from $3.35 in 2017.

Bank OZK's non-purchased loans during 2018 grew by $2.3 billion, 18.4 percent. That growth was spread across Indirect RV & Marine, $1 billion; Real Estate Specialties Group, $908 million; and Community Banking, $345 million.

Excluding purchased loans, the bank's ratio of nonperforming loans as a percent of total loans was 0.23 percent at Dec. 31, 2018 compared to 0.1 percent at year-end 2017.

The Bank OZK's efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter was 36.9 percent compared to 34.8 percent a year ago. The efficiency ratio for the full year of 2018 was 37.9 percent compared to 34.9 percent for 2017.