Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ:OZRK) saw a large growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 17,480,801 shares, a growth of 10.7% from the October 14th total of 15,793,733 shares. Approximately 15.4% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,160,296 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 15.1 days.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Bank of the Ozarks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, September 19th. Wells Fargo & Co. set a $42.00 price target on shares of Bank of the Ozarks and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Raymond James Financial Inc. raised shares of Bank of the Ozarks from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Rafferty Capital Markets assumed coverage on shares of Bank of the Ozarks in a research report on Friday, September 16th. They set a “buy” rating and a $46.00 price target for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Bank of the Ozarks currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $46.33.

In other news, Director John Crawford Carter sold 1,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.05, for a total value of $41,681.25. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 10,085 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $373,649.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Timothy D. Hicks sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.84, for a total transaction of $140,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,740 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,065,141.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 8.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 34.5% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,552 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $359,000 after buying an additional 2,192 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 12.3% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 61,422 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,578,000 after buying an additional 6,724 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 25.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 50,303 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,111,000 after buying an additional 10,223 shares in the last quarter. AXA boosted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 16.6% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 62,196 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,610,000 after buying an additional 8,870 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Bank of the Ozarks by 22.6% in the first quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 17,036 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $715,000 after buying an additional 3,136 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.44% of the company’s stock.

Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK) opened at 45.83 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $38.93 and a 200 day moving average of $38.12. Bank of the Ozarks has a one year low of $33.51 and a one year high of $54.90. The company has a market capitalization of $5.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.93 and a beta of 1.26.

Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 11th. The financial services provider reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.06. Bank of the Ozarks had a net margin of 35.19% and a return on equity of 12.83%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.54 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Bank of the Ozarks will post $2.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 21st. Investors of record on Friday, October 14th were given a $0.165 dividend. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.44%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 12th. This is a boost from Bank of the Ozarks’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. Bank of the Ozarks’s payout ratio is currently 27.50%.

About Bank of the Ozarks

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc is a bank holding company. The Company owns an Arkansas state chartered subsidiary bank, Bank of the Ozarks (the Bank). The Company, through the Bank, conducts operations through approximately 257 offices, including over 80 offices in Arkansas, approximately 30 in Georgia, over 20 in North Carolina, over 20 in Texas, approximately 44 in Florida, over three in Alabama, approximately two each in South Carolina and New York, and one in California.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:OZRK

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