Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $26.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Hilltop Holdings has been able to grow on the back of recent acquisitions. Also, prudent capital management has strengthened operating and competitive efficiencies. In addition, the company’s balance sheet, free cash flow, capital ratios and investment portfolio are strong and should support long-term growth. Additionally, PlainsCapital Bank’s sturdy fundamentals, PrimeLending’s focus on purchase business and strong National Lloyds bode well for the long term. Nevertheless, Hilltop remains exposed to catastrophic events, volatility in interest rates, high competition and economic volatility. The company's third quarter earnings estimates stand at $0.53 per share which translates into year over year growth of 12%.”

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on HTH. FBR & Co reissued a hold rating and issued a $20.50 price target on shares of Hilltop Holdings in a report on Friday, July 29th. TheStreet downgraded Hilltop Holdings from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their price target on Hilltop Holdings from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $25.00.

Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH) opened at 23.07 on Thursday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $22.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $21.19. Hilltop Holdings has a 52 week low of $14.28 and a 52 week high of $23.68. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.12 and a beta of 0.48.

Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.06. Hilltop Holdings had a net margin of 7.58% and a return on equity of 7.20%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.30 earnings per share.

In other Hilltop Holdings news, insider Jerry Schaffner sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.36, for a total transaction of $111,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 22.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Hilltop Holdings by 77.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,276 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 2,301 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Hilltop Holdings by 86.0% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,163 shares of the company’s stock worth $161,000 after buying an additional 3,312 shares during the last quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC bought a new stake in shares of Hilltop Holdings during the second quarter worth $210,000. KCG Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Hilltop Holdings during the second quarter worth $211,000. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its stake in shares of Hilltop Holdings by 19.8% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 10,974 shares of the company’s stock worth $230,000 after buying an additional 1,817 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.89% of the company’s stock.

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 Corporation (the Bank). It has three operating business units, which include PlainsCapital (banking and mortgage origination), Hilltop Securities Holdings LLC (Securities Holdings) and National Lloyds Corporation (NLC).

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