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Apprentice program planned at NLR hub

A free forum for employers interested in apprenticeship programs will be held Nov. 15 at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce are hosting the event,"Employers Growing Talent through Apprenticeships," which will last from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 201 E. Broadway.

The agenda includes an employer panel featuring representatives from companies with apprentice programs in Arkansas in which they discuss the "ins and outs of apprenticeships, how and why it works, what it takes to get started and what resources are available to assist in the process," the Workforce Services Department said in a news release.

The employer panel participants include First Orion, Tyson Foods and the National Apprenticeship Training Foundation.

Registration for the event is available at

-- Noel Oman

Analysts critical of Bank OZK's losses

A 23 percent decline in earnings reported Oct. 18 by Bank OZK, attributed to combined charge-offs of $45.5 million in the third quarter, is drawing criticism from analysts.

Unrelated loans, about 10 years old, one in South Carolina and one in North Carolina, defaulted in the third quarter.

American Banker pointed out several comments from analysts who cover Little Rock-based Bank OZK.

"With defenses penetrated, no matter how small the breach, confidence in the OZK mystique has evaporated," wrote Michael Rose of Raymond James & Associates.

"It is very easy to make the case that these are one-offs ... and the rest of the portfolio looks nothing like this," Catherine Mealor, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, wrote to her clients. "That said, at this point in the cycle, we don't believe it matters. The market is going to shoot first and ask questions later, in our view."

Matt Olney, a banking analyst in Little Rock with Stephens Inc., labeled his research brief "When the levee breaks."

"OZK's [third quarter] results were disappointing due to elevated credit concerns, slowing loan growth and [net interest margin] compression," said Olney, who noted the losses were the largest for the bank in the past 14 years.

Bank OZK shares closed at $25.40 on Friday, down 27 percent since Oct. 18.

-- David Smith

Arkansas Index falls 1.68 point to 414.27

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, fell 1.68 to 414.27 Friday.

Windstream fell 4.2 percent in below-average trading and USA Truck rose 4.9 percent in heavy trading.

Total volume for the index was 27.4 million shares.

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

Business on 10/27/2018

Print Headline: News in brief

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    October 27, 2017 at 1:38 p.m.

    Great news! Home Despot is owned by Trumpanzees. They'll get no more of my money.