Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $26.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.54% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Hilltop Holdings has been able to grow on the back of recent acquisitions. Also, prudent capital management has strengthened operating and competitive efficiencies. In addition, the company’s balance sheet, free cash flow, capital ratios and investment portfolio are strong and should support long-term growth. Additionally, PlainsCapital Bank’s sturdy fundamentals, PrimeLending’s focus on purchase business and strong National Lloyds bode well for the long term. Nevertheless, Hilltop remains exposed to catastrophic events, volatility in interest rates, high competition and economic volatility. The company's third quarter earnings estimates stand at $0.53 per share which translates into year over year growth of 12%.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on HTH. FBR & Co reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $20.50 price objective on shares of Hilltop Holdings in a report on Friday, July 29th. TheStreet downgraded Hilltop Holdings from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upped their price objective on Hilltop Holdings from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $25.00.

Analyst Recommendations for Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH)

Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH) traded down 2.23% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $22.79. The stock had a trading volume of 136,514 shares. Hilltop Holdings has a 52 week low of $14.28 and a 52 week high of $23.68. The firm has a market cap of $2.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.90 and a beta of 0.48. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $22.50 and a 200-day moving average of $21.08.

Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.06. Hilltop Holdings had a net margin of 7.58% and a return on equity of 7.20%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.30 earnings per share.

In other news, insider Jerry Schaffner sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.36, for a total transaction of $111,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 22.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HTH. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Hilltop Holdings by 77.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,276 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 2,301 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Hilltop Holdings by 86.0% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $161,000 after buying an additional 3,312 shares in the last quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC purchased a new position in Hilltop Holdings during the second quarter valued at $210,000. KCG Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in Hilltop Holdings during the second quarter valued at $211,000. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in Hilltop Holdings by 19.8% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 10,974 shares of the company’s stock valued at $230,000 after buying an additional 1,817 shares in the last quarter. 53.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Hilltop Holdings

Hilltop Holdings Inc is a financial holding Company. The Company provides business and consumer banking services from offices located throughout Texas through PlainsCapital Corporation (the Bank). It has three operating business units, which include PlainsCapital (banking and mortgage origination), Hilltop Securities Holdings LLC (Securities Holdings) and National Lloyds Corporation (NLC).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HTH

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