Hancock Holding (NASDAQ:HBHC) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest in November. As of November 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,394,428 shares, a decline of 30.0% from the November 15th total of 1,993,250 shares. Currently, 1.7% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 462,501 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.0 days.

Several research analysts recently commented on HBHC shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised Hancock from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, August 21st. Zacks Investment Research cut Hancock from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Hancock in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $52.00 target price on Hancock and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Hancock from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.25.

Shares of Hancock (NASDAQ HBHC) opened at $50.00 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,220.71, a PE ratio of 18.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12. Hancock has a fifty-two week low of $40.95 and a fifty-two week high of $53.35.

Hancock (NASDAQ:HBHC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $269.97 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $279.80 million. Hancock had a return on equity of 8.27% and a net margin of 19.08%. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.59 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Hancock will post 2.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 5th were issued a $0.24 dividend. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 4th. Hancock’s payout ratio is currently 38.55%.

In related news, insider Samuel B. Kendricks sold 2,982 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.62, for a total transaction of $144,984.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Hancock by 25.9% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,820 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after purchasing an additional 581 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in shares of Hancock by 14.2% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,248 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after purchasing an additional 404 shares during the last quarter. Hayek Kallen Investment Management purchased a new stake in shares of Hancock in the 2nd quarter valued at about $204,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board purchased a new stake in shares of Hancock in the 2nd quarter valued at about $216,000. Finally, Sabal Trust CO purchased a new stake in shares of Hancock in the 3rd quarter valued at about $216,000. 77.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Hancock

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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