Hancock Holding Co. (HBHC) Sees Significant Decline in Short Interest
Hancock Holding Co. (NASDAQ:HBHC) saw a large decline in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 5,166,901 shares, a decline of 18.3% from the September 15th total of 6,325,314 shares. Approximately 6.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 601,657 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 8.6 days.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on HBHC shares. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut Hancock Holding from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $34.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, September 19th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued 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. Zacks Investment Research cut Hancock Holding from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Hancock Holding in a report on Wednesday. Finally, TheStreet raised Hancock Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.57.
Shares of Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) opened at 32.46 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.08 and a beta of 0.87. Hancock Holding has a 1-year low of $20.01 and a 1-year high of $33.39. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $32.24 and its 200 day moving average price is $28.07.
Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.14. The firm earned $229 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $229.18 million. Hancock Holding had a net margin of 11.20% and a return on equity of 4.53%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.51 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Hancock Holding will post $1.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 6th were issued a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 1st. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.96%. Hancock Holding’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.11%.
In other news, insider George A. Schloegel purchased 4,633 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was bought at an average price of $28.64 per share, with a total value of $132,689.12. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 257,351 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,370,532.64. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Stephen E. Barker sold 2,550 shares of Hancock Holding stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.45, for a total value of $75,097.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 9,966 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $293,498.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.45% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 8.5% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 4,360 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 340 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 77.0% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 4,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 2,041 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hancock Holding during the first quarter worth about $142,000. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of Hancock Holding during the second quarter worth about $142,000. Finally, Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Hancock Holding during the second quarter worth about $220,000. 81.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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