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Instant Analysis: Bank of the Ozarks Notches a Q2 Earnings Beat

By Eric Volkman - Jul 13, 2016 at 12:04PM

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The bank breaks several second-quarter records in the process, but that probably won't erase concerns about its pricey stock.

What happened?

Bank of the Ozarks ( OZK 2.30% ) has a new set of records. The regional banking group released Q2 results that saw a new all-time high net profit for that particular quarter, at $54.5 million ($0.60). That bottom-line figure represented a substantial 22% improvement over the Q2 2015 bottom line of $44.8 million.


It was also rich enough to beat the market's expectations. On average, analysts were projecting a per-share profit of $0.57 for the quarter.

Bank of the Ozarks also broke its Q2 records for net interest, mortgage, and trust income.

On the top line, revenue zoomed 21% higher, largely on the back of that new high-water mark for net interest income.

Does it matter?

For most companies, posting a record-smashing quarter would likely result in investors flocking to its shares. But Bank of the Ozarks is not most companies -- the modest regional bank from Arkansas has been an overachiever for many years now. Thus, its investors consistently expect the exceptional, making it tough (if not nearly impossible) for the company to wow the market.

Even after a share-price pullback that started late last year, Bank of the Ozarks is an expensive stock. On a price-to-book basis (one of the most critical valuation metrics for banks), the company stands at 2.4; that's well higher than big incumbents Wells Fargo at 1.4 and Bank of America's 0.6. It even exceeds the figures of popular and successful regionals -- U.S. Bancorp stands at 1.7, while PNC Financial Services is sporting 0.98.

Bank of the Ozarks has been remarkably stable and consistent over the years, and has been adept at growing both organically and through acquisitions. But that high price-to-book ratio is obviously a concern for investors, particularly when compared to the solid investments in the sector like Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, and PNC Financial Services that are available at relative discounts.

Though Bank of the Ozarks' second quarter was excellent, I believe many investors will still consider the stock to be too rich and hold off on the shares until they start better obeying gravity.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. Stock Quote
Bank of the Ozarks, Inc.
$45.73 (2.30%) $1.03
Bank of America Corporation Stock Quote
Bank of America Corporation
$44.15 (0.64%) $0.28
Wells Fargo & Company Stock Quote
Wells Fargo & Company
$48.81 (2.22%) $1.06
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Stock Quote
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
$199.96 (1.13%) $2.23
U.S. Bancorp Stock Quote
U.S. Bancorp
$56.88 (2.32%) $1.29

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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