Tulsa-Based BOK Financial Sets Record Earnings

Article excerpt

BOK Financial earnings rose 2.2 percent in 2007 to close the Tulsa company's 17th straight year of record profits.

But with charges totaling 11 cents for the fourth quarter and full year, the BOKF final results just missed analyst projections.

"While the earnings growth rate is lower than we are accustomed to historically, it remains favorable when compared to the overall banking industry," said President and Chief Executive Stan Lybarger.

Wall Street seemed to agree. The financial services company's Nasdaq stock fell 92 cents Tuesday morning before reversing course and recovering that ground by 1 p.m. as the markets built positive momentum toward an expected Federal Reserve rate cut Wednesday.

The BOKF listing closed Tuesday up $1.76 to $54.75, its 93,374 trading volume 11 percent below the daily average.

"From a technical standpoint they look fairly strong," said Greg Womack, a certified financial planner with Womack Investment Advisors in Edmond.

The Journal Record financial columnist said BOKF had performed especially well over the last several months while many of its national competitors were decimated under the subprime lending scare.

Tuesday's regular session close left BOKF only $1.25 from its 52- week high, although it lost $1.45 in after-hours trading of only 200 shares.

"I wouldn't read a lot into 200 shares," said Womack. "If it was a couple thou, then I would be particularly concerned."

The holding company for Bank of Oklahoma, Bank of Texas and several other regional lenders posted a 2007 net income of $217.7 million, or $3.22 per diluted share, topping the prior annual record set in 2006 of $213 million, or $3.16 a share.

Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research of Chicago forecast earnings of $3.24 a share.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, BOKF profits inched 1.1 percent higher to $51.2 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, from $50.6 million, or 75 cents. Zacks analysts had forecast 78 cents for the latest quarter. …