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Hancock's profits tumble on expenditure for cost-cutting measures

GULFPORT — Regional bank Hancock Holding Co. said profit in 2013’s third quarter fell 30 percent as its spent $20.9 million on cost-cutting.

Hancock, which operates Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas, posted quarterly profit of $33.2 million, or 40 cents per share. That’s down from $47 million or 55 cents per share in 2012’s third quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet had estimated 55 cents per share, on average. Excluding one-time costs, Hancock said it would have earned 56 cents per share, or $46.8 million.

Hancock said loans increased by $92 million from the second quarter, with new loan strength in southern Louisiana offset by customers who paid off more of their loans than normal. The bank closed 26 branches in August and is working to sell 10 more. Three branches in the Alexandria, La., area will be sold to Sabine State Bank of Many, La. Seven branches in the Houston area will be sold to Texas Dow Employees Credit Union of Lake Jackson, Texas.

The company cut about 90 employees over the last quarter and more than 200 over the last year.

Hancock set aside $7.6 million for future bad loans, down 7 percent from a year ago.

The bank’s net interest margin, the measure of how much more it’s making on interest from loans compared to interest it’s paying on deposits, rose to

The amount that Hancock collected in interest from borrowers, net of what it paid out to savers, rose slightly to $174 million. The net interest margin, a measure of that spread divided by all loans, was 4.23 percent, up from 4.17 percent in the second quarter.

Hancock’s return on assets was 0.70 percent for the quarter. That key measure of profitability fell from 0.99 percent in the second quarter, but would have stayed level if not for the one-time expenses.

Gulfport-based Hancock has $18.8 billion in assets.

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One comment

  1. Where’s the remainder of the sentence in paragraph 7?

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