Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE:BXS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday. The brokerage currently has $34.00 price objective on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “BancorpSouth’s shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Southeast Banks industry over the last six months. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in second-quarter 2017 on the back of higher revenues and stable expenses. Given a strong balance sheet position, BancorpSouth has been steadily enhancing shareholders’ value through strategic acquisitions, dividend hikes and share buybacks. Further, its efforts to enhance non-interest income will go a long way in supporting the bottom line. However, despite rise in rates, continued pressure on margin due to lower yields remains a major concern. Nevertheless, BancorpSouth’s expense management initiatives keep us encouraged.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on BXS. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of BancorpSouth in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Stephens reissued a buy rating on shares of BancorpSouth in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and set a $32.00 price objective on shares of BancorpSouth in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. Brean Capital reissued a hold rating on shares of BancorpSouth in a research report on Thursday. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of BancorpSouth from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $31.00.

BancorpSouth (BXS) opened at 30.35 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $30.21 and its 200 day moving average price is $30.35. The company has a market capitalization of $2.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.69 and a beta of 1.40. BancorpSouth has a one year low of $22.23 and a one year high of $32.40.

BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The bank reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.02. BancorpSouth had a net margin of 19.46% and a return on equity of 8.77%. The business had revenue of $185.61 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $187.78 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.39 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that BancorpSouth will post $1.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. BancorpSouth’s payout ratio is 30.86%.

In other BancorpSouth news, Director James Elbert Campbell III acquired 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $28.93 per share, with a total value of $202,510.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 133,392 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,859,030.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 2.63% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Guggenheim Capital LLC increased its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 39.5% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 29,174 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $906,000 after buying an additional 8,255 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of BancorpSouth during the fourth quarter valued at $21,010,000. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 139,058 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,318,000 after buying an additional 3,372 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 1.9% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 21,500 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $650,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Diversified Trust Co increased its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 0.3% in the first quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 39,400 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,192,000 after buying an additional 135 shares in the last quarter. 66.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS)

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