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Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

News in brief

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published July 31, 2014 at 2:35 a.m.

Conway bank closes another Florida buy

Conway-based Home BancShares continued its acquisition of Florida banks, announcing Wednesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Broward Financial Holdings Inc. in Fort Lauderdale.

The cash-and-stock deal will range from $33 million to $34 million, according to a release from Home BancShares, whose wholly owned subsidiary is Centennial Bank.

The Conway institution's branch total will reach 61 in Florida with consummation of the deal, which is expected in the fourth quarter after approval from shareholders and regulators.

It will have bought 10 Florida banks in the past decade, most of them with assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after the U.S. financial crisis across the United States.

The Broward Bank of Commerce has two branches in Fort Lauderdale.

Centennial has 83 branches in Arkansas.

Home BancShares stock rose 2.15 percent on the Nasdaq stock market, closing at $30.95.

-- Jack Weatherly

Little Rock's Capers wins culinary award

Capers Restaurant in Little Rock received an Achievement of Excellence Award at the American Culinary Federation's annual national convention last weekend in Kansas City, Mo.

Capers was one of 20 restaurants to win the award and the only Arkansas restaurant honored.

The award, given to restaurants that exemplify a commitment to excellence in food service, requires that restaurants be in operation for at least five consecutive years, be nominated by a federation chapter, member or other food service worker, and be an industry leader.

Capers, 14502 Cantrell Road, has been open since the fall of 1997. The restaurant offers lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch. It also operates The Market, a gourmet-to-go fresh market located behind the restaurant. Capers' ownership group also operates Copper Grill and Cajun's Wharf in Little Rock.

-- Claire Boston

State Index gains 3.72; 4 stocks down

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, gained 3.72 to 356.79 Wednesday.

"U.S. stocks ended mixed on Wednesday as better-than-expected economic growth was offset by weaker earnings and the Federal Reserve's decision to keep trimming assets," said John Blackwell, managing director of equity trading at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock. "The Arkansas Index ended higher as 13 stocks advanced and 4 stocks declined."

P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. hit a 52-week high of $36.16 during intraday trading before ending at $36.04, a gain of 4.71 percent.

Windstream Holdings Inc. fell 4.23 percent to $11.33, and ArcBest Corp. gained 3.4 percent to $42.29.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 07/31/2014

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