Hancock Whitney (HWC) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hancock Whitney (NYSE:HWC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

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 and matched in two of the trailing four quarters. Its third-quarter 2018 results were aided by higher revenues and lower provisions, offset by an increase in expenses. Strategic initiatives, growth in loan and deposit balances, and improving rate environment will continue to support profitability. Further, the acquisition of the asset management and trust business of Capital One is expected to support growth. 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 remains a major concern as it might hamper financials in the near term.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on HWC. Stephens set a $59.00 target price on shares of Hancock Whitney and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $59.00 target price on shares of Hancock Whitney and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Finally, Raymond James dropped their target price on shares of Hancock Whitney from $60.00 to $55.00 and set a strong-buy rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday.

Shares of NYSE HWC traded down $0.79 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $41.85. The company had a trading volume of 543,527 shares, compared to its average volume of 534,269. Hancock Whitney has a 52-week low of $41.00 and a 52-week high of $56.40.

Hancock Whitney (NYSE:HWC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01. The company had revenue of $289.71 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $292.73 million.

In related news, CEO John M. Hairston sold 15,941 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.18, for a total transaction of $799,919.38. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Joseph S. Exnicios sold 7,925 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.75, for a total transaction of $410,118.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 24,452 shares of company stock worth $1,240,246 over the last ninety days.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of HWC. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter worth $127,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter worth $168,000. Brown Advisory Inc. acquired a new stake in Hancock Whitney during the 1st quarter worth $221,000. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. acquired a new stake in Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter worth $226,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Hancock Whitney during the 2nd quarter worth $227,000.

Hancock Whitney Company Profile

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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