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

By Zacks Investment Research,

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Hancock's third-quarter 2014 operating earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Prudent expense management and continuous improvement in loans and deposits acted as tailwinds. However, subdued top line continued to weigh down the results. We expect Hancock's organic and inorganic growth strategies to pay off going forward. Moreover, the company's steady liquidity position and enhanced capital deployment activities remain impressive. Also, restructuring initiatives being undertaken by the company are expected to boost investors' confidence in the stock. Nonetheless, persistent low interest rate environment along with increased regulatory burden are likely to strain performance in the near term.


Based in Gulfport, MS, Hancock Holding Company is a bank holding as well as financial holding company. The company operates through roughly 236 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. On Mar 31, 2014, the company combined two bank charters into a single one. Due to this unification, there is now only one reportable segment, encompassing the overall banking operations.

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.

In 2009, Hancock acquired the assets and assumed the liabilities of Panama City, FL-based Peoples First Community Bank in a 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 seven 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.

As of Sep 30, 2014, Hancock held total assets of $20.0 billion, total deposits of $15.7 billion, total loans of $13.3 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing Stocks
Referenced Stocks: HBHC

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