Dividend Growth Stock Overview: Bank of the Ozarks

Photo of the Ozarks Valley: Freeimages.com/Angela Seiffert

About Bank of the Ozarks, Inc.

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. is a regional bank holding company that owns Arkansas-chartered Bank of the Ozarks.  The company has 174 offices across 9 states, with nearly half in Arkansas, and provides a wide variety of retail and commercial banking services.  The company is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas and employed nearly 1,500 people at the end of 2015.

Bank of the Ozarks provides standard banking services, including checking, savings, money market and IRA accounts; real estate, consumer, industrial, commercial and agricultural loans, including mortgages; and trust and wealth management services for individuals, non-profits and businesses.  The company also has a full-service investment brokerage arm, and provides business services including processing merchant debit and credit card transactions.

The history of Bank of the Ozarks dates back to the formation of a small community bank in Jaspar, Arkansas in 1903 and by 1937, the bank had expanded to Ozark, AR.  The bank remained small for most of its history, and when George Gleason purchased it in 1979 it only had about $28 million in assets.  In 1994 the board, led by Gleason, decided to begin a strategy of expansion and to focus on building new branches in Arkansas.  Through the late 1990s and into the 2000s, the company expanded its reach by opening new bank branches and loan production offices in the Carolinas, Texas, California and Florida.  The company also went on an aggressive series of acquisitions, purchasing 12 small banks from 2010 through 2014.

Recent acquisitions in the last several years have expanded the bank’s operating areas into parts of New York City, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

The company has announced that it plans to continue its expansion strategy, which has taken it from a small local bank to a mid-size regional bank with a market capitalization of over $4 billion.  This expansion will include both the opening of new bank branches to better cover existing service areas, along with continuing to acquire smaller banks to expand into new service areas.  The company is also looking at opening loan production offices in the metropolitan areas of Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, DC.

 

The company is a member of the S&P Small Cap 600 and Russell 2000 indices and trades under the ticker symbol OZRK.

Bank of the Ozarks’ Dividend and Stock Split History

Bank of the Ozarks has grown dividends year-over-year since coming public in 1997.  Rather than increasing dividends annually, Bank of the Ozarks has increased the quarterly dividend each quarter since 2010.  The company announces dividend increases in early February, May, August and October, with the stock going ex-dividend later in the same month.

Bank of the Ozarks has compounded its payout at an average rate of 23.2% over the last 5 years and 20.8% over the last 10 years.

Bank of the Ozarks has split its stock 4 times since coming public in July 1997.  The most recent split, which was 2-for-1, was in June 2014.  The other 3 splits, also 2-for-1, were completed in June 2002, December 2003 and August 2011.  A single share of Bank of the Ozarks stock purchased when the company went public in 1997 has split into 16 shares.

Bank of the Ozarks’ Direct Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Bank of the Ozarks does not have a direct purchase or dividend reinvestment plan. In order to invest in Bank of the Ozarks stock, you’ll need to purchase it through a broker. Most brokers will allow you to reinvest dividends without any fee. Ask your broker for more information on how to set this up if you are interested.

Helpful Links

Bank of the Ozarks’ Investor Relations Website

Current quote and financial summary for Bank of the Ozarks (finviz.com)

 

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