Home » NEWS » Banking & Finance » Hancock's fourth-quarter earnings hurt by loan sale

Hancock's fourth-quarter earnings hurt by loan sale

GULFPORT — Fourth-quarter profit rose for the parent of Hancock and Whitney banks as merger expenses eased, but it lost money on a loan sale.

Hancock Holding Co. posted a profit of $47 million, or 54 cents per share. That’s 147 percent above $19 million, or 22 cents per share, in 2011’s fourth quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast 63 cents per share, on average.

That year-ago quarter, months after Hancock acquired New Orleans-based Whitney National Bank, included $40.2 million in merger costs. The just-ended quarter had no merger costs. The company, which cut 500 jobs from the end of 2011 to the end of 2012, says it has reached its savings targets from the merger.

Hancock set aside $13.7 million — 10 cents per share — when it sold $40 million worth of bad loans at the end of the year.

“The bulk loan sale completed at year-end was a prudent and effective use of the Company’s strong capital position in reducing both nonperforming assets and the costs associated with carrying these assets,” said Hancock CEO Carl Chaney said in a statement.

Overall, the bank set aside $28.1 million for anticipated bad loans during the fourth quarter, up from $11.5 million in the same quarter of 2011.

For the year, Hancock posted profit of $152 million, or $1.75 a share. That compares to $77 million, or $1.15 per share in 2011.

Hancock said overall loans grew slightly, driven by continued business lending to energy firms in Louisiana and Texas.

The bank said its return on assets, a key measure of profitability, was 0.99 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s below the 1.06 percent that all FDIC-insured banks made in the third quarter, but well above the 0.39 percent recorded in 2011’s fourth quarter.

Based in Gulfport, Miss., the $19.5 billion company operates Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright

Leave a Reply