Hancock profit rebounds as efficiency targets met

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Associated Press

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 5:32 PM

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Regional bank Hancock Holding Co. says it has met efficiency targets nearly a year early, as profits bounced back on lower expenses.

Hancock, which operates Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas, posted quarterly profit Wednesday of $49.1 million, or 58 cents per share. That's up slightly from $48.6 million, or 56 cents per share, in 2013's first quarter, but up sharply from profits in the last six months of 2013, when Hancock spent $38 million to cut costs.

Analysts polled by FactSet estimated 57 cents per share.

Hancock says loans continued to grow during the quarter. But net interest margin, a measure of profit on loans after interest paid to savers, continues to fall slowly.

Gulfport-based Hancock has $19 billion in assets.

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