SunTrust Banks Inc. lowered shares of Hancock Holding Co. (NASDAQ:HBHC) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note published on Monday morning. The firm currently has $34.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also commented on HBHC. Zacks Investment Research raised Hancock Holding from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $33.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $28.00 target price on shares of Hancock Holding in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $29.00 target price (up from $27.50) on shares of Hancock Holding in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Hovde Group boosted their target price on Hancock Holding from $27.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, TheStreet raised Hancock Holding from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hancock Holding has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.57.

Shares of Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) opened at 32.05 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $31.52 and a 200 day moving average price of $27.20. The company has a market cap of $2.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.78 and a beta of 0.95. Hancock Holding has a 1-year low of $20.01 and a 1-year high of $32.94.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.14. Hancock Holding had a return on equity of 4.53% and a net margin of 11.20%. The firm earned $229 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $229.18 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.51 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Hancock Holding will post $1.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 6th were paid a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 1st. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.00%. Hancock Holding’s payout ratio is 71.11%.

In other news, insider George A. Schloegel acquired 4,633 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $28.64 per share, for a total transaction of $132,689.12. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now owns 257,351 shares in the company, valued at $7,370,532.64. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Stephen E. Barker sold 2,550 shares of the company’s 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 transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,966 shares in the company, valued at approximately $293,498.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.45% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 5.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,836,695 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,396,000 after buying an additional 298,416 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 16.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,147,260 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $134,392,000 after buying an additional 729,019 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 5.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,302,929 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $98,805,000 after buying an additional 208,608 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 1.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,867,641 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,984,000 after buying an additional 41,071 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 2.0% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,513,013 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $65,615,000 after buying an additional 48,707 shares during the last quarter. 81.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Hancock Holding

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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