Hancock Whitney (HWC) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Hancock Whitney (NYSE:HWC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Hancock Whitney have underperformed the industry over the past six months. The company’s earnings have surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company's fourth quarter 2018 earnings release. The company's strategic initiatives, growth in loan and deposit balances and improving rate environment will continue to support profitability. Further, its steady capital deployment plan reflects strong liquidity position. However, higher costs, owing to the company's business restructuring efforts, are likely to hurt bottom-line growth. Moreover, the company’s exposure toward risky loan portfolios is a concern as it might hamper financials in the near term.”

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on HWC. Raymond James downgraded Hancock Whitney from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. FIG Partners upgraded Hancock Whitney from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. Finally, Stephens set a $59.00 target price on Hancock Whitney and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.75.

Shares of HWC traded up $0.79 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $38.55. 7,121 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 598,200. Hancock Whitney has a 52 week low of $32.59 and a 52 week high of $56.40.

Hancock Whitney (NYSE:HWC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.01. The company had revenue of $289.71 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $292.73 million.

In other Hancock Whitney news, insider Cecil W. Knight, Jr. bought 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $41.41 per share, for a total transaction of $62,115.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new stake in Hancock Whitney during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $333,000. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System acquired a new position in Hancock Whitney in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $783,000. Hennessy Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Hancock Whitney in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $866,000. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Hancock Whitney in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $2,034,000. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama acquired a new position in Hancock Whitney in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $3,826,000.

About Hancock Whitney

Hancock Whitney Corp. is a bank holding company, which engages in the provision of financial services. It also offers trust and investment management services to retirement plans, corporations, and individuals; and brokerage services, annuity products, and life insurance, general insurance agency services, including life and title insurance, consumer financing service.

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