Bank OZK Hikes Dividend; Street Is Cautiously Optimistic

Bank OZK approved a 0.91% hike in its quarterly dividend to $0.2775 per share from $0.275. The U.S. regional bank has been raising its quarterly dividends for the last forty-two consecutive quarters.

Bank OZK (OZK) said that the new quarterly dividend will be paid by Jan. 22, to shareholders of record as of Jan. 15. Its annual dividend of $1.11 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 3.52%.

Bank OZK is scheduled to announce its 4Q results on Jan. 21 after the market bell. The company had reported better-than-expected results in the third quarter. The company’s earnings of $0.84 per share beat analysts’ estimates of $0.58 per share. Its revenues of $251.3 million also exceeded the Street’s estimates of $244.3 million. (See OZK stock analysis on TipRanks)

Following the 3Q results, Raymond James analyst Michael Rose raised the price target to $31 (1.7% downside potential) from $30 and maintained a Buy rating on the stock.

Rose said that lower loan loss provision and stronger revenue fueled EPS beat in the quarter. The analyst added, “asset quality improved from already best in class metrics where it noted future loan loss provisions are expected to match loan growth if economic conditions match its projections or be zero/negative if conditions improve vs. its projections.”

Meanwhile, the stock scores a cautiously optimistic outlook from the rest of the Street. The analyst consensus of a Moderate Buy is based on 2 Buys and 2 Holds. The average price target of $31.25 implies that shares are more than fully priced at current levels. Shares have gained 8.1% over the past year.

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