Bancorpsouth Bank (BXS) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Bancorpsouth Bank (NYSE:BXS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BancorpSouth have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Yet, the company boasts an impressive earnings surprise history.  It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Third-quarter results reflect robust organic growth on the back of higher loans and expansion of margin, partially offset by rise in expenses. Given a strong balance-sheet position, the company has been steadily enhancing shareholders’ value through strategic acquisitions, dividend hikes, share buybacks and excellent expense-management initiatives. Recently, the company completed the acquisition of Icon Capital Corporation to expand presence in Houston. However, volatile net interest margin and exposure towards risky loan portfolios remain major concerns for the company.”

Several other research firms have also commented on BXS. ValuEngine lowered Bancorpsouth Bank from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Brean Capital restated a hold rating on shares of Bancorpsouth Bank in a research report on Monday, August 6th. Stephens restated a buy rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of Bancorpsouth Bank in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price target on Bancorpsouth Bank to $32.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reduced their price objective on shares of Bancorpsouth Bank to $31.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Monday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $34.83.



BXS stock traded down $0.36 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $27.67. 115,528 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 672,963. Bancorpsouth Bank has a 52-week low of $26.91 and a 52-week high of $35.55. The stock has a market cap of $2.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.57 and a beta of 1.41. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.02.

Bancorpsouth Bank (NYSE:BXS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 17th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.01. Bancorpsouth Bank had a net margin of 23.71% and a return on equity of 10.16%. The business had revenue of $213.75 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $216.90 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.43 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Bancorpsouth Bank will post 2.23 earnings per share for the current year.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Bancorpsouth Bank by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,322,893 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $340,139,000 after buying an additional 920,056 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in Bancorpsouth Bank by 3.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,677,676 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $88,229,000 after buying an additional 96,222 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Bancorpsouth Bank by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,186,363 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $39,090,000 after buying an additional 17,027 shares in the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its stake in Bancorpsouth Bank by 529.4% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 561,159 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $18,490,000 after acquiring an additional 472,001 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Bancorpsouth Bank by 8.0% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 548,223 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $18,064,000 after acquiring an additional 40,637 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.88% of the company’s stock.

About Bancorpsouth Bank

BancorpSouth Bank provides commercial banking and financial services to individuals and small-to-medium size businesses. It offers various deposit products, including interest and noninterest bearing demand deposits, and saving and other time deposits. The company also provides commercial loans, including term loans, lines of credit, equipment and receivable financing, and agricultural loans; a range of short-to-medium term secured and unsecured commercial loans to businesses for working capital, business expansion, and the purchase of equipment and machinery; and construction loans to real estate developers for the acquisition, development, and construction of residential subdivisions.

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