Hancock Holding Co. (NASDAQ:HBHC)’s share price was up 1.9% on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $31.41 and last traded at $31.37, with a volume of 535,752 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $30.80.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on HBHC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Hancock Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective on shares of Hancock Holding in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Hovde Group raised their price objective on shares of Hancock Holding from $24.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 21st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective (up from $27.50) on shares of Hancock Holding in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.57.

The firm has a market capitalization of $2.44 billion and a PE ratio of 23.38. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $28.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.75.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $229 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $229.18 million. Hancock Holding’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.51 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Hancock Holding Co. will post $1.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 6th will be issued a $0.24 dividend. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 1st.

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

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HBHC. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in shares of Hancock Holding during the fourth quarter worth about $1,093,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Finally, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 during the period.

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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