Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Holding Co. (NASDAQ:HBHC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $44.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Hancock’s third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate on higher revenues and a decline in expenses. However, an energy-led rise in provisions remained the undermining factor. The company's efforts to streamline its business are expected to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Further, the company's efforts to upgrade online banking facility is expected to lower expenses in the quarters ahead. Also, Hancock’s strategic initiatives are expected to accelerate revenue generation, going forward. Nevertheless, persistent margin compression, exposure to residential mortgage, construction and land development loan portfolios as well as stringent regulatory restrictions are expected to hamper the company’s bottom-line in the near term.”

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on HBHC. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a neutral rating and issued a $29.00 target price (up previously from $27.50) on shares of Hancock Holding in a research note on Sunday, July 24th. Hovde Group lifted their price target on Hancock Holding from $27.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a market perform rating on shares of Hancock Holding in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut Hancock Holding from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, September 19th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. upgraded Hancock Holding from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Hancock Holding has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $31.14.

Analyst Recommendations for Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC)

Shares of Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) traded up 2.94% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $40.20. 398,977 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $3118.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.31 and a beta of 0.77. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $33.81 and its 200-day moving average price is $29.79. Hancock Holding has a 52-week low of $20.01 and a 52-week high of $40.55.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.01. Hancock Holding had a net margin of 11.62% and a return on equity of 4.74%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.52 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Hancock Holding will post $1.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 5th will be given a $0.24 dividend. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.46%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 1st. Hancock Holding’s payout ratio is 67.61%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HBHC. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in shares of Hancock Holding during the third quarter worth about $30,885,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 65.3% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,225,047 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $72,159,000 after buying an additional 879,369 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 16.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,147,260 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $134,392,000 after buying an additional 729,019 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 180.4% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,126,858 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $36,543,000 after buying an additional 724,944 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Hancock Holding during the second quarter worth about $18,529,000. 83.08% of the stock is currently 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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:HBHC

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