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

According to Zacks, “Hancock’s shares outpaced the Zacks categorized Southeast Banks industry in the last one year. Estimates have been going down ahead of the company’s second-quarter 2017 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. The company’s strategic initiatives on the back of several investments are expected to accelerate revenue generation, going forward. Moreover, the company’s acquisition of the First NBC Bank branches is expected to be accretive to earnings. However, continued pressure on net interest margin is expected to hurt financials in the near term. Also, exposure to risky loan portfolios remains a major concern for the company.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Stephens reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Hancock Holding in a report on Friday, April 28th. ValuEngine raised Hancock Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Hancock Holding in a report on Thursday, April 20th. BidaskClub downgraded Hancock Holding from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies raised Hancock Holding from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Hancock Holding has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.53.

Shares of Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) traded down 0.30% during trading on Monday, reaching $49.90. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 175,435 shares. The company has a market cap of $4.22 billion, a PE ratio of 20.91 and a beta of 0.86. Hancock Holding has a 52-week low of $27.55 and a 52-week high of $52.94. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $47.61 and its 200 day moving average is $46.02.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57. The firm had revenue of $245.18 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $245.23 million. Hancock Holding had a return on equity of 7.65% and a net margin of 19.25%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.05 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Hancock Holding will post $2.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Hancock Holding news, EVP Stephen E. Barker sold 9,966 shares of Hancock Holding stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.28, for a total transaction of $501,090.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider George A. Schloegel sold 4,953 shares of Hancock Holding stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.78, for a total value of $251,513.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 70,669 shares of company stock valued at $3,424,090 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Hancock Holding by 7.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 7,662 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $349,000 after buying an additional 545 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in Hancock Holding by 4.4% in the first quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 16,448 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $748,000 after buying an additional 695 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in Hancock Holding during the fourth quarter worth about $37,315,000. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. bought a new position in Hancock Holding during the first quarter worth about $294,000. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Hancock Holding by 0.7% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,177,532 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $53,636,000 after buying an additional 8,472 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.92% 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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