Bank of the Ozarks reported impressive results for its first full quarter since acquiring C1 Financial and Community & Southern Holdings.

The $18.9 billion-asset Little Rock company said Tuesday that it earned $87.8 million for the three months ending Dec. 31, up 16% from the third quarter and 71% from the $51.5 million it netted for the three months ending Dec. 31, 2015.

Sandler O'Neill analyst Stephen Scouten singled out linked-quarter nonpurchased loan growth of $845 million and the period-ending net interest margin of 5.02% as particularly strong. Bank of the Ozarks' overall results were "noticeably better than consensus expectations," Scouten wrote in a research note Tuesday.

The company completed its $800 million acquisition of Community & Southern July 20. A day later it closed the $403 million purchase of C1. The combined deals added more than $5.5 billion of assets.

Excluding purchased loans, the company's ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans ticked up slightly compared with the Sept. 30 figure, but at 0.15% it remains significantly below the industry average.

Fourth-quarter revenue came in at $225.4 million, up 65% from the same period a year earlier. Noninterest income of $30.6 million was just $100,000 more than the 2015 fourth-quarter total, but last year's number included an outsize gain on sale of investment securities totaling $2.9 million. The comparable total this year was $4,000.

Period ending loans were $14.56 billion, and deposits were $15.57 billion, producing a loan to deposit ratio of 93%. The ratio was 105% at yearend 2015. Bank of the Ozarks' efficiency ratio also improved, closing the year at 35.8%, compared with 38.5% in 2015.

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