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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hancock Holding (HBHC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C+.  TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HANCOCK HOLDING CO (HBHC) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

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Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • HANCOCK HOLDING CO has improved earnings per share by 40.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, HANCOCK HOLDING CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.92 versus $1.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.35 versus $1.92).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 40.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $33.20 million to $46.55 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HANCOCK HOLDING CO is currently very high, coming in at 91.92%. Regardless of HBHC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 20.18% trails the industry average.
  • HBHC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.39% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, HANCOCK HOLDING CO's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HBHC Ratings Report

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