Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. started the fourth quarter earnings season for Arkansas' publicly traded firms by reporting fourth quarter net income of $20.7 million, a 17.6% increase from one year ago.

For the year ended December 31, 2012, net income totaled $77.0 million, a 24% decrease from $101.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2011.

During 2011, Little Rock-based Bank of the Ozarks acquired three out-of-state banks in FDIC-assisted deals. The bank holding company added another non-FDIC acquisition in late 2012.

“The quarter just ended was an excellent conclusion to an excellent year,” said George Gleason, Chairman and CEO. “Our fourth quarter loan and lease growth, even excluding loans acquired in acquisitions, was one of our best ever. For the full year of 2012, our loans and leases, excluding loans acquired in acquisitions, grew $235 million. Our strong organic loan and lease growth, combined with our excellent net interest margin, good efficiency ratio and favorable asset quality, made for a great finish to 2012 and position us well for the future.”

Other financial highlights:

  • Total loans and leases were $2.75 billion at December 31, 2012, a 2.3% increase from $2.69 billion at December 31, 2011.
  • Deposits were $3.10 billion at December 31, 2012, a 5.3% increase compared to $2.94 billion at December 31, 2011.
  • Total assets were $4.04 billion at December 31, 2012, a 5.2% increase compared to $3.84 billion at December 31, 2011.
  • Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $43.8 million, a 4.5% decrease from $45.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Non-interest income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $18.8 million, a 45.4% increase from $13.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Bank of the Ozarks shares (NASDAQ: OZRK) closed trading on Wednesday at $34.52. The company's stock has traded between $27.34 and $34.98 in the past year.

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Roby Brock
Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics. He can be reached by e-mail at Roby@TalkBusiness.net. Follow him on Twitter: @RobyBrock.