Bank OZK Q4, Full-Year Earnings Beat Expectations

Bank OZK Q4, Full-Year Earnings Beat Expectations

Bank OZK of Little Rock on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $120.5 million, up 19.5% from the same quarter last year.

The publicly traded company (Nasdaq: OZK) bank said it had earnings of 93 cents per share, topping Wall Street expectations of 78 cents per share.

For the full year, net income was $291.9 million, a 31.5% decrease from 2019. Earnings per share were $2.26, also beating analysts expectations of $2.11.

Pre-tax pre-provision net revenue was $162.9 million for the fourth quarter, a 15.5% increase from the fourth quarter of 2019. It was $579.8 million for the full year, a 1.8% decrease.

"We are pleased to report one of our best quarters ever, highlighted by record quarterly net interest income, our second highest quarterly net income in company history, excellent asset quality and an efficiency ratio among the best in the industry," George Gleason, chairman and CEO, said in a news release. "It was a strong finish to a challenging year. Our strong capital and liquidity, our disciplined credit culture and our exceptional team have us well positioned for the future."

The company said the COVID-19 pandemic "significantly affected the global economy in 2020." The bank said the economic downturn, the new current expected credit losses method to calculate allowance for credit losses and "uncertain future economic projections'' resulted in a $203.6 million provision for credit losses during the year. That put Bank OZK's total allowance for credit losses at $377.3 million as of Dec. 31.

Total loans were $19.21 billion as of Dec. 31, up 9.6% from the same time last year. Deposits were $21.45 billion, up 16.1%. Total assets were $27.16 billion, up 15.3%.

The bank's efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter was 38.61%, down from 42.37% in the same quarter last year. But its ratio for the full year was 41.37%, up from 40.27% in 2019.