Hancock Holding Co. (NASDAQ:HBHC) shares rose 1.9% on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $31.41 and last traded at $31.37, with a volume of 535,752 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $30.80.

HBHC has been the topic of a number of research reports. Raymond James Financial Inc. raised shares of Hancock Holding from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Holding from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective (up previously from $27.50) on shares of Hancock Holding in a report on Sunday, July 24th. Hovde Group increased their price objective on shares of Hancock Holding from $24.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Hancock Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hancock Holding presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.57.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $28.26 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.43 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.25.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $229 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $229.18 million. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.51 EPS. Analysts forecast that Hancock Holding Co. will post $1.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 1st.

In related news, EVP Stephen E. Barker sold 2,550 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.45, for a total transaction of $75,097.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 9,966 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $293,498.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider George A. Schloegel acquired 4,633 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $28.64 per share, for a total transaction of $132,689.12. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 257,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,370,532.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Other hedge funds recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Hancock Holding by 24.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,779,102 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $95,121,000 after buying an additional 750,934 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in Hancock Holding during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,093,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Hancock Holding by 27,760.2% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 807,109 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $20,314,000 after buying an additional 804,212 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Hancock Holding by 753.4% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 112,698 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,836,000 after buying an additional 99,493 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Hancock Holding by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 53,432 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,345,000 after buying an additional 1,343 shares in the last quarter.

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

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