4. Bank of the Ozarks

Shares of Bank of the Ozarks ( OZRK) of Little Rock, Ark., closed at $26.79 Monday, rising 26% year-to-date. The shares were 19% ahead of the consensus price target of $22.50 at the end of 2010.

Bank of the Ozarks had $3.9 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, with 111 offices in seven southern states.

The bank has purchased seven failed institutions from the FDIC over the past two years, and CEO George Gleason said at a conference on Tuesday that the bank is "in an extraordinary environment that still affords a lot of opportunities," which could lead to another five to 12 additional failed-bank deals over the next 30 months, according to an SNL report.

Third-quarter net income available to common shareholders was $18.9 million, or 55 cents a share, compared to earnings of $50.2 million, or $1.46 a share in the second quarter, when the company booked $62.8 million in gains from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. acquisitions, partially offset by an additional $20.2 million in income tax provisions. In the third quarter of 2010, Bank of the Ozarks earned $20.2 million, or 59 cents a share.

The bank's third-quarter ROA was 1.92%, which was the best among the banks with strong, consistent earnings profiled in TheStreet's 10 Bank Stocks Bringing Home the Bacon.

FIG Partners analyst Brian Martin has a neutral rating of "Market Perform" on Bank of the Ozarks, with a price target of $27.25, saying after the bank reported its third-quarter results, that although "management remains optimistic more deals are on the horizon and that covered (by FDIC loss-sharing) loans will continue to be the key driver of balance sheet growth in 2012 and possibly 2013," the company will have to "rely on organic growth to maintain record earnings."

The shares trade for 14 times the consensus 2012 EPS estimate of $1.86 among analysts polled by FactSet, and for 2.3 times tangible book value, according to SNL.

Out of eight analysts covering Bank of the Ozarks, one rates the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

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