Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Hilltop Holdings’ shares have underperformed the industry in the past year. Also, the company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in just one of the trailing four quarters. Elevated expense levels (owing to continued investments in franchise) remain a key concern. Moreover, overall expenses are expected to continue to increase thereby affecting bottom-line growth. Also, deteriorating performance of its Mortgage Origination segment is expected to hurt financials in the near-term. However, the company has a solid organic growth strategy in place and its capital deployment plans remain impressive.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Hilltop Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Compass Point upgraded Hilltop Holdings from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.50 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Stephens set a $31.00 target price on Hilltop Holdings and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub cut Hilltop Holdings from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 target price on shares of Hilltop Holdings in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $32.08.

Shares of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH) traded down 0.04% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $26.09. 70,471 shares of the stock were exchanged. Hilltop Holdings has a 12-month low of $21.47 and a 12-month high of $30.60. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $24.46 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.60 and a beta of 1.00.

Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $460.67 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $431.80 million. Hilltop Holdings had a net margin of 10.02% and a return on equity of 9.39%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.32 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Hilltop Holdings will post $1.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Charles Clifton Robinson bought 10,000 shares of Hilltop Holdings stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 30th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $23.90 per share, with a total value of $239,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 1,265,024 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,234,073.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director J Markham Green sold 4,389 shares of Hilltop Holdings stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.98, for a total value of $114,026.22. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 114,763 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,981,542.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 22.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of HTH. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Hilltop Holdings by 26,007.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,980,856 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $136,824,000 after buying an additional 4,961,778 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Hilltop Holdings by 65.9% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,269,474 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $172,222,000 after buying an additional 2,491,245 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Hilltop Holdings by 98.5% during the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 772,163 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $21,211,000 after buying an additional 383,160 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Hilltop Holdings by 18.3% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,198,523 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $60,393,000 after buying an additional 340,542 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Hilltop Holdings by 4.4% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,880,222 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $161,530,000 after buying an additional 249,759 shares in the last quarter. 56.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Hilltop Holdings Company Profile

Hilltop Holdings Inc is a financial holding Company. The Company provides business and consumer banking services from offices located throughout Texas through PlainsCapital Bank (the Bank). It has three operating business units, which include PlainsCapital Corporation (PCC) (banking and mortgage origination), Hilltop Securities Holdings LLC (Securities Holdings) (broker-dealer) and PlainsCapital Company (NLC) (insurance).

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