November 6, 2017 What Bank of the Ozarks’ Q3 Results Say About the Resignation of Real Estate Exec Dan Thomas
When Bank of the Ozarks announced the departure of Dan Thomas, the executive in charge of its real estate specialties group, its shares tumbled 12% as investors pondered what impact the departure might have on the Arkansas-based bank that ranked ninth on CrediFi’s list of top New York City loan originators in Q2.
That was in July. The bank’s Q3 results seem to indicate that it’s doing well – for now, at least – despite the resignation of Thomas, who was at the bank for over a decade and was president of its real estate specialties group.
“We’ve not seen any loss – customers, loss of opportunity or slowdown – in our production and the various loan origination teams,” CEO George Gleason said on the bank’s Q3 earnings call, addressing a question about Thomas’ departure.
Ozarks reported quarterly profit of $96 million compared with $76 million a year earlier, its eighth straight quarter of record earnings. Total assets were about $20.8 billion at the end of the quarter, up 13% year-over-year.
However, it may simply be too soon after Thomas’ departure for his absence to have had a substantial impact on the bank yet, and Q3 financials could well reflect real estate activity begun while Thomas was still at the bank.
Either way, Ozarks’ shares are making their way back. Even after another steep decline in early September on worries about Hurricane Harvey, as of late October they were about 4% below where they stood before Thomas’ departure was announced.
Yet some investors were concerned that the personnel change could signal larger problems, such as regulatory issues or credit difficulties, Reuters reported in July. More than 8.5% of the company’s shares were sold short as of July 14, the news agency said.
The bank says it expects to file its first Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST) in July 2018, adding that it is likely to issue subordinated debt by late 2018 to generate more capital.