Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Hancock Holding’s shares have outpaced the industry in the last six months. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. While strategic initiatives, growth in loan and deposit balances, improving rate environment and potential lesser regulations should support profitability, rising operating expenses remains a near-term concern for the company. As the bank continues to invest in franchise and grows inorganically, expenses are expected to remain elevated in the quarters ahead. Also, its exposure to risky loan portfolios makes us apprehensive.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine raised Hancock Holding from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $52.00 target price on Hancock Holding and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $50.00 target price on Hancock Holding and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. BidaskClub cut Hancock Holding from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Hancock Holding in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $52.03.

Hancock Holding (HBHC) traded up 0.11% on Tuesday, hitting $45.75. The stock had a trading volume of 28,345 shares. The company has a market cap of $3.88 billion, a PE ratio of 19.09 and a beta of 0.87. Hancock Holding has a one year low of $31.16 and a one year high of $52.94. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $44.08 and a 200-day moving average of $46.28.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68. Hancock Holding had a return on equity of 7.85% and a net margin of 18.91%. The business had revenue of $267.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $265.03 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.59 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Hancock Holding will post $2.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 5th were given a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 31st. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Hancock Holding’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 40.00%.

In related news, insider Cecil W. Knight, Jr. purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $41.40 per share, for a total transaction of $82,800.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO John M. Hairston sold 12,240 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.60, for a total value of $570,384.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 17,909 shares of company stock valued at $827,307 in the last quarter. 1.15% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 16,558 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $810,000 after purchasing an additional 110 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 9,304 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $412,000 after purchasing an additional 113 shares during the period. World Asset Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 5,342 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $262,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 6,774 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $332,000 after purchasing an additional 147 shares during the period. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 2.9% in the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $296,000 after purchasing an additional 185 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.98% of the company’s stock.

About Hancock Holding

Hancock Holding Company is a financial services company that provides a network of service financial choices to the Gulf South region, through its bank subsidiary, Whitney Bank (the Bank), a Mississippi state bank. The Company operates through overall banking operations segment. The Bank operates under brands, such as Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC)

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