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Bank OZK (OZK) Up 15.4% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

Zacks Equity Research
·5 min read

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Bank OZK (OZK). Shares have added about 15.4% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Bank OZK due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Bank OZK Q3 Earnings Beat, Revenues & Expenses Rise

Bank OZK’s third-quarter 2020 earnings per share of 84 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 57 cents. Moreover, the bottom line indicates a rise of 3.7% from the prior-year quarter’s reported number.

Results were aided by an improvement in revenues, partly offset by higher expenses. Moreover, lower provision for credit losses was a positive for the company. Further, the balance sheet position remained strong in the quarter.

Net income available to common shareholders was $109.3 million as compared with $103.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues Improve, Expenses Rise

Net revenues were $251.3 million, up 2.5% year over year. Also, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $244.7 million.

Net interest income was $224.7 million, up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. Net interest margin, on a fully-taxable equivalent basis declined 57 basis points (bps) year over year to 3.69%.

Non-interest income totaled $26.7 million, up nearly 1% from the year-ago quarter. The rise was primarily driven by an increase in gain on sale of other assets. Moreover, in the reported quarter, the company recorded net gains on investment securities.

Non-interest expenses were $105.6 million, up 4.7% year over year. The rise resulted from higher salaries and employee benefits costs as well as net occupancy and equipment costs.

Bank OZK’s efficiency ratio was 41.77%, up from 40.98% in the prior-year quarter. A rise in efficiency ratio indicates lower profitability.

As of Sep 30, 2020, total loans were $19.36 billion, up from $17.53 billion recorded as of Dec 31, 2019. As of the same date, total deposits amounted to $21.29 billion, up from $18.47 billion recorded as of Dec 31, 2019.

Credit Quality Improves

The ratio of non-performing loans, as a percentage of total loans, declined 2 bps year over year to 0.15% as of Sep 30, 2020. Moreover, provision for credit losses declined 8.3% from the year-earlier quarter to $7.2 million.

Annualized net charge off ratio to average total loans decreased from 0.12% to 0.09% on a year-over-year basis.

Profitability Ratios Mixed

At the end of the third quarter, return on average assets was 1.63%, down from 1.81% in the year-earlier quarter. Return on average common equity was 10.48%, up from 10.22% in the prior-year quarter.

Outlook

The company expects Real Estate Specialties Group (“RESG”) loans to be the largest contributor to total loan growth during 2020.

RESG loan repayments are expected to return to more typical levels in the fourth quarter of 2020. Repayments in 2021 will likely be higher than that in 2019.

Further, Indirect RV & Marine loan portfolios are expected to continue declining in 2020.

Based on the purchases made in the third quarter, which resulted in an increase in the outstanding balances of the company’s securities portfolio and a reduction in the average yield, the tax equivalent yield on the investment portfolio is anticipated to be 1.7-1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The company expects cost of interest-bearing deposits (COIBD) to decrease in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

The company expects gains of $7-$9 million from the sale of the four branches in South Carolina and Alabama.

Management expects purchased loan runoff to prevail and be a headwind to overall loan growth in 2020 and 2021.

The effective tax rate is expected to be 21.5-22.5% for fourth-quarter 2020 and 2021.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in estimates revision. The consensus estimate has shifted 22.36% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Bank OZK has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a C. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. It comes with little surprise Bank OZK has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.


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