Bank OZK is pleased to report our results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2021. Highlights include:
- Strong Net Income. Our $149.8 million of net income for the quarter just ended was among our best ever, and our $1.17 diluted earnings per common share was a quarterly record. For the full year of 2021, our $579.0 million net income and $4.47 diluted earnings per common share were record results.
- Record Quarterly Origination Volume. Our Real Estate Specialties Group (“RESG”) originated a quarterly record $2.99 billion of loans during the quarter. This contributed to the $1.23 billion increase in our unfunded loan commitments to a record $13.62 billion at December 31, 2021.
- Record Net Interest Income. Our discipline and expertise in structuring loans helped us achieve exceptional levels of minimum interest and other interest income from repayments and short-term extensions during the quarter just ended. This contributed to record net interest income of $266.4 million, an increase of $18.4 million from the third quarter of 2021. In the quarter just ended, our core spread, which is how we describe the difference between our yield on non-purchased loans and our cost of interest bearing deposits (“COIBD”), increased 51 basis points (“bps”) and our net interest margin increased 25 bps compared to the third quarter of 2021.
- Excellent Asset Quality. Our focus on asset quality was again evident, as reflected in our annualized net charge-off ratios for the quarter just ended of 0.05% for non-purchased loans and 0.04% for total loans. Our December 31, 2021 ratios of nonperforming non-purchased loans to total non-purchased loans and nonperforming assets to total assets1 were just 0.19% and 0.15%, respectively.
- Efficiency Among the Industry’s Best. Our efficiency ratio for the quarter was 37.1%.
- Share Repurchases & Dividend Growth. During the quarter just ended, we repurchased 3.4 million shares of our common stock for a total of $156.4 million. We recently increased our regular quarterly common stock dividend for the 46th consecutive quarter.
- Preferred Stock Issuance. In October, we issued $350 million of 4.625% Series A Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, and our Board of Directors approved an equivalent increase in our common stock repurchase program (the “Stock Repurchase Program”). Our Stock Repurchase Program now totals $650 million (less the $193.4 million in repurchases made since the program was authorized in July 2021).
- Multiple Options for Increasing Shareholder Value. Our combination of strong earnings and robust capital gives us great optionality to increase shareholder value. Options for deploying our excess capital include organic loan growth, adding new business lines, continuing to increase our common stock dividend, financially attractive acquisitions for cash or some combination of cash and stock, and continued stock repurchases pursuant to our Stock Repurchase Program.
George Gleason, Chairman and CEO Comment in Earnings Release
“We are pleased to report our excellent results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2021 – results that were record setting in many respects. We were particularly pleased to report our highest ever level of quarterly RESG loan originations, as organic growth is an important component of our long-term strategy to increase shareholder value. Our strong capital and liquidity, disciplined credit culture and outstanding team have us well positioned for the future.”
Full Report and Management Comments
Bank OZK’s Earnings Release and Management Comments for the 4th Quarter and full year 2021 are available here.