Hancock Whitney (HWC) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Whitney (NYSE:HWC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $50.00 target price 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.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Stephens restated a buy rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Hancock Whitney in a report on Friday, July 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Hancock Whitney and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th.

HWC opened at $42.69 on Tuesday. 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 quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 16th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01. The company had revenue of $289.71 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $292.73 million.

In related news, CEO John M. Hairston sold 15,941 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.18, for a total value of $799,919.38. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph S. Exnicios sold 7,925 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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. In the last quarter, insiders sold 24,452 shares of company stock worth $1,240,246.

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