Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Hancock Holding have outpaced the industry in the last six months. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Strategic initiatives, growth in loan and deposit balances, improving rate environment and potential lesser regulations should support the company's profitability. However, rising operating expenses remains a near-term concern for the company. As the bank continues to invest in franchise and grows inorganically, expenses are expected to remain elevated in the quarters ahead. Also, its exposure to risky loan portfolios makes us apprehensive.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $52.00 price target on Hancock Holding and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $50.00 target price on Hancock Holding and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. BidaskClub downgraded Hancock Holding from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Hancock Holding in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Hancock Holding in a research note on Wednesday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.81.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ HBHC) traded down 0.051% during trading on Friday, reaching $48.725. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 153,098 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $44.95 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.36. Hancock Holding has a 12-month low of $31.73 and a 12-month high of $52.94. The company has a market capitalization of $4.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.336 and a beta of 0.88.

Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68. The firm had revenue of $267.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $265.03 million. Hancock Holding had a return on equity of 7.85% and a net margin of 18.91%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Hancock Holding will post $2.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Hancock Holding news, CEO John M. Hairston sold 12,240 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.60, for a total transaction of $570,384.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Randall W. Hanna sold 2,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.93, for a total value of $101,039.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 17,909 shares of company stock worth $827,307. Company insiders own 1.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 72.2% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,239 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 939 shares during the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new stake in shares of Hancock Holding in the first quarter worth about $118,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of Hancock Holding by 14.2% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,248 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 404 shares during the last quarter. Hayek Kallen Investment Management purchased a new stake in shares of Hancock Holding in the second quarter worth about $204,000. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board purchased a new stake in shares of Hancock Holding in the second quarter worth about $216,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.98% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC)

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