Zacks Investment Research cut shares of BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE:BXS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “BancorpSouth’s shares have outperformed the industry over the last six months. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in second-quarter 2017. Higher revenues and stable expenses were recorded. Given a strong balance sheet position, BancorpSouth has been steadily enhancing shareholders’ value through strategic acquisitions, dividend hikes and share buybacks. Further, its efforts to enhance non-interest income will go a long way in supporting the bottom line. However, despite rise in rates, continued pressure on margin due to lower yields remains a major concern. Nevertheless, BancorpSouth’s expense management initiatives keep us encouraged. 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.”

BXS has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and set a $33.00 target price on shares of BancorpSouth in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Brean Capital reiterated a hold rating on shares of BancorpSouth in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Stephens set a $35.00 price objective on BancorpSouth and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. ValuEngine upgraded BancorpSouth from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of BancorpSouth in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $31.67.

BancorpSouth (BXS) opened at 30.05 on Friday. BancorpSouth has a one year low of $22.23 and a one year high of $32.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.50 and a beta of 1.40. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $30.38 and its 200-day moving average price is $30.29.

BancorpSouth (NYSE:BXS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The bank reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $185.61 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $187.78 million. BancorpSouth had a return on equity of 8.77% and a net margin of 19.46%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.39 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that BancorpSouth will post $1.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from BancorpSouth’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.86%. BancorpSouth’s dividend payout ratio is 30.86%.

In related news, Director James Elbert Campbell III purchased 7,000 shares of BancorpSouth stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $28.93 per share, with a total value of $202,510.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 133,392 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,859,030.56. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 2.63% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. US Bancorp DE raised its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 16.0% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 5,148 shares of the bank’s stock worth $155,000 after buying an additional 711 shares during the period. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC purchased a new position in shares of BancorpSouth during the first quarter worth $382,000. State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 1.2% in the first quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 34,700 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,050,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 2.8% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 48,479 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,463,000 after buying an additional 1,340 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of BancorpSouth by 2.4% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 77,127 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,333,000 after buying an additional 1,814 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 66.96% of the company’s stock.

BancorpSouth Company Profile

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.

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