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Banking & Finance

Live Oak Bank Tops $1B Valuation

By Jenny Callison, posted Nov 30, 2017
A homegrown Wilmington company is now worth more than $1 billion.
 
On Wednesday, Live Oak Bancshares’ stock closed at $26 per share on the Nasdaq exchange, giving the company a market capitalization of slightly over the $1 billion mark, according to officials.

Financial website Equities.com reported Wednesday that LOB stock has traded between $26.05 and $16.60 over the past 52 weeks. It debuted on Nasdaq on July 24, 2015 at $17 per share.

While the billion-dollar milestone is significant, reaching it will not change the banking company’s momentum or focus, Scott Custer, president of subsidiary Live Oak Bank, said Thursday.
 
“We don’t get caught up in the stock price every day, and we don’t run the company based on the daily moves of our stock price,” he said.
 
There are, according to Custer, some advantages to having a valuation of more than $1 billion, however.
 
“Being over $1 billion in market cap gives you a little different profile among public companies. You see more activity and liquidity in your stock. You get more followers of your stock and your company,” he said.
 
In fact, LOB has experienced just that. Equities.com reported Wednesday that the company’s shares had traded on “unusually high volume” that day, as the stock gained about 2.5 percent to close at $26.

“On the day, Live Oak Bancshares Inc. saw 130,441 shares trade hands on 1,259 trades. Considering that the stock averages only a daily volume of 83,689 shares a day over the last month, this represents a pretty significant bump in volume over the norm,” Equities.com stated.

Custer said that a market capitalization in the billion-plus neighborhood is often a reflection of the company’s performance.

“It’s not only how you have grown but whether you have delivered what you said you were going to deliver,” he said. “There is credibility in the management of the company. Live Oak’s story is a good story for the future, and people are willing to invest in it.”

Passing the billion mark also gives a company “better optionality about what it wants to do in the future,” Custer said. But he doesn’t expect big changes in the foreseeable future.
 
“For Live Oak in the near term, the quick answer is more of the same. Our business model is still working exceptionally well. Look at our performance for the first three quarters of this [calendar] year; see what it’s been.” 

Custer said Live Oak Bancshares will continue building on its success, adding new industry verticals and looking for new areas in which to grow the lending business and working to increase the deposit side of the ledger.
 
“We’re not going to get complacent; we have a lot more ground to plow,” he said.
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