Hancock Holding Co. (NASDAQ:HBHC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

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 and its strategic initiatives are expected to accelerate revenue generation. However, persistent margin compression remains a major concern for the company. Further, though the housing sector has improved slightly, the company’s significant exposure to residential mortgage, construction and land development loan portfolios poses risks for the company in the near term.”

HBHC has been the subject of several other research reports. Hovde Group increased their target price on Hancock Holding from $27.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Hancock Holding in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. SunTrust Banks Inc. downgraded Hancock Holding from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $34.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, September 19th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective (up previously from $27.50) on shares of Hancock Holding in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. upgraded Hancock Holding from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.14.

Analyst Recommendations for Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC)

Shares of Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) traded up 2.69% on Thursday, reaching $40.10. The company had a trading volume of 332,686 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $3110.72 billion, a PE ratio of 28.24 and a beta of 0.77. Hancock Holding has a 12 month low of $20.01 and a 12 month high of $40.55. The company’s 50-day moving average is $33.81 and its 200 day moving average is $29.79.

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

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

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HBHC. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 66.1% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 30,338 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $984,000 after buying an additional 12,071 shares during the last quarter. Dean Investment Associates LLC boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 2.8% in the third quarter. Dean Investment Associates LLC now owns 210,691 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,833,000 after buying an additional 5,725 shares during the last quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 163.1% in the third quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 138,969 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,507,000 after buying an additional 86,141 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new position in shares of Hancock Holding during the third quarter worth about $30,885,000. Finally, Waters Parkerson & CO. LLC boosted its position in shares of Hancock Holding by 3.7% in the third quarter. Waters Parkerson & CO. LLC now owns 51,450 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,669,000 after buying an additional 1,848 shares during the last quarter. 83.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Hancock Holding Company Profile

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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