Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK) in Little Rock, Ark., said that its first-quarter earnings climbed 26% from the same period last year, to $25.3 million, thanks largely to strong loan growth and an accounting gain stemming from its March acquisition of Bancshares Inc. in Houston.

Earnings per common share climbed 21% year over year, to 65 cents, but fell a penny short of consensus estimates, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Bank of the Ozarks said that net interest income grew 18.7% year over year, to $52.4 million, as average earning assets increased 27%, to $4 billion in the first quarter, and total loans and leases rose nearly 31%, to $3.6 billion. Overall assets increased 23%, to $4.8 billion.

The bank's net interest margin fell by 37 basis points to 5.46%.

Noninterest income jumped 25%, to $20.4 million, due in large part to a tax-exempt bargain purchase gain of $4.7 million related to the Bancshares acquisition.

Noninterest expenses rose to $37.5 million, up 28% from a year earlier due to elevated salaries and employee benefits.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.