Hancock Holding Company Stock Downgraded (HBHC)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hancock Holding Company (Nasdaq: HBHC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HBHC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 30.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 117.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 20.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $15.33 million to $18.50 million.
  • The share price of HANCOCK HOLDING CO has not done very well: it is down 7.61% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HANCOCK HOLDING CO underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
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Hancock Holding Company, a financial holding company, provides financial and banking services in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Texas. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 29.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Hancock Holding has a market cap of $2.44 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 8.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Hancock Holding Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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