Hancock Holding Company (HBHC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday. They currently have $55.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Hancock’s shares outpaced the Zacks categorized Southeast Banks industry in the last six months. The company’s strategic initiatives on the back of several investments are expected to accelerate revenue generation, going forward. With the passage of the Financial Choice Act, the company is likely to increase lending activities, which along with improving loan and deposit balances will lead to further improvement in top-line. Moreover, the company’s acquisition of the First NBC Bank branches is expected to be accretive to earnings. However, continued pressure on net interest margin and exposure to risky loan portfolios remain major near term concerns for the company.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on HBHC. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of Hancock Holding Company in a research note on Thursday, April 20th. Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Hancock Holding Company in a research note on Friday, April 28th. BidaskClub downgraded Hancock Holding Company from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Hancock Holding Company in a research note on Tuesday, April 4th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Hancock Holding Company from an outperform rating to a strong-buy rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $48.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Thursday, March 16th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Hancock Holding Company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $45.53.

Shares of Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) traded up 0.451% on Friday, hitting $50.075. The stock had a trading volume of 230,744 shares. Hancock Holding Company has a 52 week low of $25.89 and a 52 week high of $52.94. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $47.61 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.987 and a beta of 0.87.

Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.57. The company had revenue of $245.18 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $245.23 million. Hancock Holding Company had a return on equity of 7.65% and a net margin of 19.25%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.05 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Hancock Holding Company will post $2.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 5th were issued a $0.24 dividend. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.93%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 1st. Hancock Holding Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 40.17%.

In other news, CEO John M. Hairston sold 41,903 shares of Hancock Holding Company stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.81, for a total value of $2,003,382.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 73,544 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,516,138.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph S. Exnicios sold 3,762 shares of Hancock Holding Company stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.80, for a total value of $183,585.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,477 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $316,077.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 70,669 shares of company stock valued at $3,424,090. Company insiders own 1.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Hancock Holding Company during the fourth quarter worth about $249,000. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Hancock Holding Company by 376.3% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 173,659 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,485,000 after buying an additional 137,202 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Hancock Holding Company during the fourth quarter worth about $37,315,000. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in Hancock Holding Company by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 129,827 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,596,000 after buying an additional 4,077 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Foundry Partners LLC boosted its position in Hancock Holding Company by 1.4% in the first quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 430,871 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $19,626,000 after buying an additional 6,019 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.76% of the company’s stock.

Hancock Holding Company Company Profile

Hancock Holding Company is a financial services company that provides a network of service financial choices to the Gulf South region, through its bank subsidiary, Whitney Bank (the Bank), a Mississippi state bank. The Company operates through overall banking operations segment. The Bank operates under brands, such as Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)

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