BancorpSouth Inc. (NYSE:BXS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “BancorpSouth’s estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s third-quarter 2016 earnings release. BancorpSouth efforts toward expense management will likely boost the company’s bottom-line growth in the upcoming quarters. Notably, management believes that an expected decline in other real estate (ORE) expenses in 2016 will enhance earnings. Further, its steady capital deployment activities enhance shareholders’ value. In Jul 2016, the company raised its quarterly cash dividend by 25%. Further, the company is well-positioned for long-term growth, given its continued improvement in asset quality and opportunistic acquisitions. However, the company continues to face margin pressure amid the low rate environment. Further, revenue challenges linger from a muted growth in non-interest income.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on BXS. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised shares of BancorpSouth from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the company from $24.00 to $25.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price target on shares of BancorpSouth from $24.00 to $23.50 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, FBR & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of BancorpSouth in a report on Saturday, July 9th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $24.71.

Shares of BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS) opened at 23.08 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $23.97 and a 200-day moving average of $23.06. BancorpSouth has a 12 month low of $18.69 and a 12 month high of $27.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.18 billion, a PE ratio of 19.41 and a beta of 1.20.

BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39. BancorpSouth had a net margin of 15.25% and a return on equity of 8.36%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.41 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that BancorpSouth will post $1.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.125 dividend. This is an increase from BancorpSouth’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. BancorpSouth’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.02%.

In other news, insider James Ronald Hodges sold 4,543 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.01, for a total value of $109,077.43. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 26,900 shares in the company, valued at approximately $645,869. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 3.93% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of BancorpSouth by 5.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,206,513 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,826,000 after buying an additional 295,789 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in BancorpSouth by 3.4% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,486,002 shares of the company’s stock worth $95,598,000 after buying an additional 147,540 shares during the period. Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC increased its stake in BancorpSouth by 27.4% in the second quarter. Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC now owns 4,419,861 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,286,000 after buying an additional 951,651 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in BancorpSouth by 5.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,820,324 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,680,000 after buying an additional 200,626 shares during the period. Finally, Skyline Asset Management LP increased its stake in BancorpSouth by 3.9% in the first quarter. Skyline Asset Management LP now owns 1,205,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,681,000 after buying an additional 45,200 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.98% of the company’s stock.

About BancorpSouth

BancorpSouth, Inc is a financial holding company. The Company, through its principal bank subsidiary, BancorpSouth Bank (the Bank), conducts commercial banking and financial services operations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Illinois. The Company’s segments include Community Banking, Insurance Agencies, and General Corporate and Other.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BXS

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on BancorpSouth (BXS)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit

Receive News & Ratings for BancorpSouth Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for BancorpSouth Inc. and related companies with's FREE daily email newsletter.