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Bear of the Day: Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK)

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I recently moved from the mean streets of Chicago to the sandy beaches of Miami. Down here, I noticed a glut of condo buildings bringing a ton of new supply to the market. Great for someone on the outside looking in, trying to find a good deal. As I was going through my research, I kept stumbling across one bank which was involved in a lot of these new construction deals. It wasn’t a big ubiquitous name but a name which stood out because of its regional tag. And a region far from South Beach.

I’m taking about today’s Bear of the Day Bank of the Ozarks OZRK. Now before you misconstrue anything I say here I want to be very clear about something. I’m not making any claims against the company’s investing strategies nor am I questioning the underlying collateral upon which they were lending. All I’m saying is, it was strange for me to see Bank of the Ozarks on so many buildings in South Florida. I thought that maybe the Bank of the Ozarks would be doing more lending in, well, the Ozarks.

Bank of the Ozarks provides various retail and commercial banking products and services. The company accepts non-interest-bearing checking, interest bearing transaction, business sweep, savings, money market, and individual retirement accounts; and time deposits. Its loan products include real estate loans, such as loans secured by residential 1-4 family, non-farm/non-residential, agricultural, construction/land development, multifamily residential properties, and other land loans; consumer loans; small business loans; indirect consumer marine and RV loans; and government guaranteed loans comprising SBA and FSA guaranteed loans. 

Putting my own feelings aside, the numbers are beginning to contract for OZRK. Analysts have been reeling in their earnings estimates, culling growth models, and reeling in their expectations. Over the last sixty days, five analysts have dropped their earnings estimates for the current year while seven have cut their numbers for next year. The bearish streak has dropped our Zacks Consensus Estimate for the next year down from $3.44 to $3.31.

This has put some pressure on the stock price, sending it below its 200-day and 50-day moving averages. After rallying sharply off the pre-Election Day lows in the mid-$3-s to nearly $57 in March, the stock took a tumble. The $40 handle provided some support during an early September dip but the stock is still in a downtrend here, middling in the $44s.

Investors looking for other stocks within the same industry should investigate Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Summit Financial (SMMF - Free Report) or Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Cadence Bancorp (CADE - Free Report) .

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