Hancock Whitney (HWC) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Whitney (NYSE:HWC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $50.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Hancock Whitney have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Yet, the company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters. Strategic initiatives, growth in loan and deposit balances and improving rate environment will likely continue to support profitability. The bank’s capital deployment activities also look impressive and indicate a strong balance sheet position. Further, the acquisition of the asset management and trust business of Capital One is expected to support bottom-line growth. However, higher costs owing to the company's business restructuring efforts as well as its exposure to risky loan portfolios remain major concerns and might hamper financials.”

HWC has been the topic of several other research reports. Stephens reiterated a hold rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Hancock Whitney in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $59.00 price target on shares of Hancock Whitney and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th.

Shares of Hancock Whitney stock traded down $0.79 on Tuesday, hitting $41.85. 543,527 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 534,269. Hancock Whitney has a 1 year low of $41.00 and a 1 year high of $56.40.

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

In related news, insider Joseph S. Exnicios sold 7,925 shares of Hancock Whitney stock in a transaction on Monday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.75, for a total transaction of $410,118.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Christine L. Pickering sold 586 shares of Hancock Whitney stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.55, for a total transaction of $30,208.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 24,452 shares of company stock worth $1,240,246 in the last quarter.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HWC. Brown Advisory Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Hancock Whitney during the 1st quarter valued at $221,000. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter valued at $226,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter valued at $168,000. Dorsey Wright & Associates purchased a new position in shares of Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter valued at $2,646,000. Finally, Clinton Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter valued at $1,684,000.

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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