Hancock (HBHC) Upgraded to Buy at Sandler O’Neill

Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of Hancock (NASDAQ:HBHC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Hancock from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Hovde Group raised shares of Hancock from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hancock from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $56.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. SunTrust Banks reissued a hold rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of Hancock in a research report on Wednesday, November 29th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Hancock from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $52.83.

Hancock (NASDAQ HBHC) traded up $0.50 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $50.60. 630,400 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 551,633. The company has a market cap of $4,300.00, a PE ratio of 20.32, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12. Hancock has a one year low of $41.05 and a one year high of $53.35.

Hancock (NASDAQ:HBHC) last released its quarterly earnings data 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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $279.80 million. Hancock had a net margin of 19.08% and a return on equity of 8.27%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.59 EPS. research analysts forecast that Hancock will post 2.74 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 5th were issued a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 4th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.90%. Hancock’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.55%.

In related news, insider Samuel B. Kendricks sold 2,982 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.62, for a total value of $144,984.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in shares of Hancock by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,606,146 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $78,702,000 after acquiring an additional 74,006 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in shares of Hancock by 11.8% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 100,332 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,914,000 after acquiring an additional 10,621 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Hancock by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 361,366 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $17,706,000 after buying an additional 15,886 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia purchased a new stake in Hancock in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,840,000. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Hancock by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 524,821 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,717,000 after buying an additional 32,365 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.21% 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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