Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Bank of the Ozarks have underperformed the industry over the last twelve months. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Consistent growth in loans and deposits, and easing margin pressure should continue to aid the company’s profitability. Given a solid balance sheet position, the company is expected to continue growing through acquisitions. However, as the company continues to expand through de novo branching strategy, operating expenses are expected to remain high in the quarters ahead. Further, the company’s substantial exposure to real estate loans remains a concern.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on OZRK. Stephens set a $64.00 price objective on Bank of the Ozarks and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. BidaskClub lowered Bank of the Ozarks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $56.00 price objective on Bank of the Ozarks and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Bank of the Ozarks in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Morgan Stanley started coverage on Bank of the Ozarks in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $54.13.

Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 11th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $242.47 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $243.67 million. Bank of the Ozarks had a return on equity of 11.85% and a net margin of 65.67%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.66 earnings per share.

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Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 8.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,724,158 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $502,641,000 after purchasing an additional 852,398 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,457,898 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $490,162,000 after purchasing an additional 480,415 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,091,667 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $285,516,000 after purchasing an additional 363,391 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,010,828 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $234,858,000 after purchasing an additional 197,825 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors lifted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 14.8% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,901,072 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $188,201,000 after purchasing an additional 630,055 shares during the last quarter. 86.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Bank of the Ozarks

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc is a state chartered bank that provides retail and commercial banking services. Its deposit services include checking, savings, money market, time deposit and individual retirement accounts. Its loan services include various types of real estate, consumer, commercial, industrial and agricultural loans and various leasing services.

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