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4 Reasons to Invest in Hancock Holding (HBHC) Stock Now

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It seems to be a wise idea to add Hancock Holding Company HBHC stock to your portfolio now, given its solid liquidity position, continued rise in loan and deposit balances, and strategic initiatives to enhance revenues.

The company’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings has also been revised marginally upward over the last 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism regarding its earnings growth prospects. Thus, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Hancock’s price performance also looks encouraging. Its shares have gained 26.8% in the past year, outperforming 18% growth of the industry.

Given its solid Zacks Rank and positive estimate revisions, the stock is expected to gain further.

Here are a few other factors that make Hancock Holding stock a solid bet now.

Earnings per Share (EPS) Strength: Even though Hancock’s earnings declined slightly in the last three to five years, the trend is expected to reverse in the near term. Its earnings are expected to grow 30.7% in 2018, higher than the industry average of 30.1%. Moreover, this growth momentum is likely to continue in the near term as evidenced by its projected EPS growth of nearly 10% for 2019.

Further, the company’s long-term (three-five years) estimated EPS growth rate of 8% ensures reward for shareholders.

Revenue Growth: Supported by rising loan balances and various strategic initiatives to enhance revenues, Hancock’s sales have recorded a four-year (2014-2017) CAGR of 7%.

Further, its projected sales growth (F1/F0) of 11.7% compares favorably with the industry average of 3.8%.

Strong Leverage: Hancock’s debt/equity ratio is 0.11 compared with the industry average of 0.26. The relatively strong financial health of the company should help it perform better than the peers, under a dynamic business environment.

Superior Return on Equity (ROE): Hancock’s trailing 12-month ROE reflects its superiority in terms of utilizing shareholder funds compared with its peers. The company has an ROE of 8.96%, higher than the industry average of 8.63%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks in the same space include Live Oak Bancshares, Inc. LOB, Regions Financial Corporation RF and Triumph Bancorp, Inc. TBK.

Live Oak Bancshares witnessed a 6.8% upward revision in its Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings, in the past 60 days. Its shares have rallied 42.6% over the past year. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

In the past 60 days, Regions Financial’s earnings estimates for the current year have been revised upward by nearly 8.1%. Over the last year, its shares gained 37.3%. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2.

Triumph Bancorp also has a Zacks Rank of 2. In the past 60 days, it has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 15.9% for the current year. Also, its shares have jumped 76.9% over the past year.

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Regions Financial Corporation (RF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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