Investors Purchase High Volume of Call Options on Hancock Whitney (NASDAQ:HWC)

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Hancock Whitney Co. (NASDAQ:HWC) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 1,012 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,063% compared to the typical daily volume of 87 call options.

In other Hancock Whitney news, insider Joseph S. Exnicios sold 4,821 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.37, for a total value of $170,518.77. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 19,470 shares in the company, valued at $688,653.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.98% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in Hancock Whitney by 17.3% during the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 129,920 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,959,000 after acquiring an additional 19,162 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Hancock Whitney by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,493,124 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,796,000 after buying an additional 80,641 shares in the last quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc bought a new position in shares of Hancock Whitney in the third quarter worth approximately $44,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in shares of Hancock Whitney by 2.0% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,849,622 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,791,000 after buying an additional 35,737 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its stake in shares of Hancock Whitney by 60.2% in the third quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 691,935 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,015,000 after buying an additional 260,068 shares in the last quarter. 73.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hancock Whitney from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 25th. Raymond James boosted their price target on shares of Hancock Whitney from $28.00 to $46.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 21st. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Hancock Whitney from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $23.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Hancock Whitney from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $34.14.

NASDAQ:HWC traded down $0.14 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $37.14. 254,492 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 450,786. Hancock Whitney has a one year low of $14.32 and a one year high of $41.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.80. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $36.79 and a 200 day moving average price of $30.19. The company has a market cap of $3.21 billion, a PE ratio of -52.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.60.

Hancock Whitney (NASDAQ:HWC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 19th. The company reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.27. Hancock Whitney had a negative net margin of 4.01% and a negative return on equity of 1.58%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.06 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Hancock Whitney will post -0.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Hancock Whitney

Hancock Whitney Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Hancock Whitney Bank that provides a range of banking products and services to commercial, small business, and retail customers. The company accepts various deposit products, such as noninterest-bearing demand deposits, interest-bearing transaction accounts, savings accounts, money market deposit accounts, and time deposit accounts.

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