Hancock (HBHC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Hancock (NASDAQ:HBHC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $61.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.42% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Hancock Holding have outpaced the industry over the past six months. Moreover, the company’s earnings have surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. Strategic initiatives, growth in loan and deposit balances and improving rate environment will likely continue to support the company's profitability. Also, deal to acquire the asset management and trust business of Capital One is expected to be accretive to earnings. While, the continued rise in operating expenses owing to restructuring efforts and exposure to risky loan portfolios remain near-term concerns, the company is expected to enhance shareholder value through its consistent dividend payments supported by a solid liquidity position.”

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Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Hovde Group raised shares of Hancock from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Hancock from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Hancock in a research report on Friday, January 19th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Hancock in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Sandler O’Neill upgraded Hancock from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hancock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $57.86.

Shares of Hancock (HBHC) traded down $0.10 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $54.75. 224,790 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 570,513. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.81. Hancock has a one year low of $41.05 and a one year high of $56.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,744.34, a P/E ratio of 21.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 1.03.

Hancock (NASDAQ:HBHC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.03. Hancock had a net margin of 18.46% and a return on equity of 8.96%. The company had revenue of $277.74 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $282.68 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.64 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Hancock will post 3.82 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Frank E. Bertucci sold 3,031 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $166,705.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Stephen E. Barker sold 3,572 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.70, for a total value of $198,960.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 47,833 shares of company stock valued at $2,613,063. Company insiders own 1.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in Hancock during the fourth quarter worth $125,000. Signition LP bought a new position in Hancock during the fourth quarter worth $224,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in Hancock by 50.1% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,874 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $241,000 after purchasing an additional 1,626 shares during the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in Hancock during the fourth quarter worth $252,000. Finally, JOYN Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Hancock during the fourth quarter worth $252,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.41% of the company’s stock.

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Hancock Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Hancock (NASDAQ:HBHC)

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