Hancock Holding Company (HBHC): New Analyst Report from Zacks Equity Research - Zacks Equity Research Report

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Summary:
Hancock's first-quarter 2014 operating earnings marginally surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Lower expenses, fall in provision and improvement in profitability ratios and credit quality acted as tailwinds. However, these positives were partially offset by a decline in top line. Going forward, we expect Hancock to be successful with respect to its organic and inorganic growth strategies backed by a stable liquidity position. Moreover, enhanced capital deployment activities and prudent expense management are likely to enhance investors' confidence in the stock. However, a still low interest rate environment and increased regulations are likely to dent the company's performance in the near term.

Overview:

Based in Gulfport, MS, Hancock Holding Company is a bank holding as well as financial holding company. The company operates through roughly 251 full-service bank branches and about 300 automated teller machines across the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Texas.

Hancock is the parent company of two wholly owned bank subsidiaries, Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank. Both these subsidiaries operate in their hometown markets with strong brand recognition. Hancock Bank owns and operates all branches in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida while Whitney Bank owns and operates all branches in Louisiana and Texas. These two banks provide a wide range of community banking services including a variety of transaction and savings deposit products, treasury management services, investment brokerage services, secured and unsecured loan products.

Further, Hancock provides other services through several non-bank subsidiaries Hancock Investment Services, Inc. (offering discount investment brokerage services), and Hancock Insurance Agency and Whitney Insurance Agency (providing general insurance agency services). Moreover, Harrison Finance Company provides consumer financing services.

Hancock's primary operating segments comprise the Hancock segment, which coincides generally with its Hancock Bank subsidiary, and the Whitney segment, which coincides generally with its Whitney Bank subsidiary.

In 2009, Hancock acquired the assets and assumed the liabilities of Panama City, FL-based Peoples First Community Bank in an FDIC-assisted transaction, thereby adding nearly $2 billion in assets.

In Jun 2011, Hancock acquired all of the outstanding common stock of Whitney Holding Corporation in a cash and stock deal. Whitney's bank subsidiary Whitney National Bank was merged into Hancock Bank of Louisiana and renamed Whitney Bank. The acquisition added $11.7 billion in assets, $6.5 billion in loans and $9.2 billion in deposits.

In Sep 2011, Hancock divested 7 Whitney Bank branches located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and one branch located in Bogalusa, LA in order to resolve the branch concentration concerns of the U.S. Department of Justice relating to the Whitney merger.

In 2013, Hancock shuttered 38 branches across its five-state footprint.

In Apr 2014, Hancock divested part of its business within its subsidiary insurance agencies to AssuredPartners Inc for $15.5 million. The lines of business included property and casualty (P&C) and group benefits services. The company garnered nearly $9.4 million gain from the deal.

As of Mar 31, 2014, Hancock held total assets of $19.0 billion, total deposits of $15.3 billion, total loans of $$12.5 billion and total shareholders' equity of $2.5 billion.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



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