BOK Financial 1st-qtr profit surges 29 percent

BOK Financial reports 29 percent surge in 1st-qtr profit, plans to raise divided to 38 cents

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- BOK Financial Corp. said Tuesday that its net income surged 29 percent in the first quarter, with the help of stronger interest revenue and fees from making more loans. The bank plans to raise its quarterly dividend by a nickel to 38 cents per share.

The Tulsa, Okla.-based bank reported net income of $83.6 million in the three months ended March 31, or $1.22 per share. That's up from $64.8 million, or 94 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2011.

The earnings results beat the average estimate of $1.03 per share by analysts covering the company, according to the data provider FactSet. The bank's stock jumped 3.7 percent to $55.70 in Tuesday afternoon trading.

In a statement accompanying the release, President and CEO Stan Lybarger, lauded the bank's results. He cited the 15 percent increase in commercial loan balances over the previous year, as well as higher fees and commissions. Total fees and commission rose 17 percent to $144 million.

The bank said it had to write off fewer bad loans. In the first quarter of 2011, BOK set aside $6.2 million for losses, a direct hit to the bank's earnings. In the most recent quarter, it had no allowance for loan losses.

The difference between what the bank receives in interest on mortgages and other loans and what it pays out rose to $173 million. That's up from $164 million the year before, when the bank took the $6.2 million charge for loan losses.

BOK Financial has $25 billion in total assets, making it the 40th largest commercial bank in the U.S., according to the Federal Reserve's rankings. Its divisions include the Bank of Arizona, the Bank of Texas, the Bank of Kansas City and other banks in the Southwestern U.S.

BOK has a stock market value of $3.89 billion. Its stock has traded as low as $43.77 and as high as $59.59 over the past 52 weeks.

The bank said the new quarterly dividend of 38 cents will be paid to those holding the stock as of May 15.

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