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4 Community Banks Out-Earning the Big Guys

1. Bank of the Ozarks

Shares of Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK - Get Report) of Little Rock, Ark., closed at $31.43 Thursday, returning 6.5% year-to-date, following a 39% return during 2011. The bank's 2011 ROA was 2.70%.

The shares trade for 2.7 times tangible book value and for 15 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $2.09. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $2.05.

Bank of the Ozarks had $3.8 billion in total assets as of Dec. 30. The bank's 2011 earnings of $101.3 million included $65.7 million in gains on FDIC-assisted acquisitions, along with $10.1 million in accretion of FDIC loss-sharing receivables, and $6.4 million in other loss-sharing income.

The company will announce its first-quarter results on Thursday, after the market close. The consensus first-quarter EPS estimate is 51 cents, matching the fourth-quarter results, but increasing from 42 cents during the first quarter of 2011.

FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin rates Bank of the Ozarks "Market Perform," with a price target of $29.50, and said in January after the company reported its fourth-quarter results that the company was still an "active bidder" for FDIC deals, and was "optimistic more deals are on the horizon and that [FDIC loss-share] covered loans will continue to be a key driver of balance sheet growth in 2012."

Martin said he expected "tangible book value to add over $1.65, or 13% over the next year which could be conservative as our forecast does not include any bargain purchase gains for fee income from new FDIC deals. Current capital levels plus strong earnings power appears plenty sufficient to accommodate future growth."

FIG Partners matches the consensus first-quarter EPS estimate of 51 cents, and estimates Bank of the Ozarks will earn $2.04 a share during 2012, followed by 2013 EPS of $2.07.

Interested in more on Bank of the Ozarks? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.

To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BAC $17.98 -0.85%
C $58.63 -0.42%
OZRK $44.24 0.11%
TRMK $24.05 -0.04%
STBZ $20.29 -0.05%

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