BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE:BXS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BancorpSouth have outperformed the industry over the past year. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history.  It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Given a strong balance sheet position, the company has been steadily enhancing shareholders’ value through strategic acquisitions, dividend hikes and share buybacks. Notably, the company has entered into an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization whereby BancorpSouth will be merged with and into its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, BancorpSouth Bank. Further, its efforts to enhance non-interest income will go a long way in supporting the bottom line. Though, continued pressure on margin due to lower yields remains a major concern, BancorpSouth’s expense management initiatives keep us encouraged.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine raised BancorpSouth from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Stephens set a $35.00 target price on BancorpSouth and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $31.00 target price on shares of BancorpSouth in a report on Friday, September 8th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $31.00 target price on shares of BancorpSouth in a report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Brean Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of BancorpSouth in a report on Thursday, July 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $32.67.

BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The bank reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.02. BancorpSouth had a return on equity of 8.77% and a net margin of 19.46%. The firm had revenue of $185.61 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $187.78 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.39 earnings per share.

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Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in BancorpSouth by 2.3% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 344,778 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $10,430,000 after acquiring an additional 7,684 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its holdings in BancorpSouth by 3.8% in the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 50,313 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,531,000 after acquiring an additional 1,834 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in BancorpSouth in the first quarter valued at approximately $625,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lifted its holdings in BancorpSouth by 1.2% in the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 45,052 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,363,000 after acquiring an additional 536 shares during the period. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas lifted its holdings in BancorpSouth by 0.8% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 6,776 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $207,000 after acquiring an additional 54 shares during the period. 65.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About BancorpSouth

BancorpSouth, Inc is a financial holding company. The Company, through its principal bank subsidiary, BancorpSouth Bank (the Bank), conducts commercial banking and financial services operations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Illinois. The Company’s segments include Community Banking, Insurance Agencies, and General Corporate and Other.

Analyst Recommendations for BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS)

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