Hancock in Miss. announces rebranding effort, higher earnings

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Hancock Holding in Gulfport, Miss., is planning to rebrand itself with two familiar names.

The $27 billion-asset company said in a press release late Wednesday that it will change its name to Hancock Whitney, recognizing the New Orleans bank it bought in 2010. The change is expected to take place in the first half of next year.

“We have decided to honor the legacies of these brands,” John Hairston, the company’s CEO, said in the release. “This decision highlights our respect for the legacy of two grand old banks, which have come together now fully and seamlessly.”

Hancock also reported that its third-quarter net income rose 28% from a year earlier, to $58.9 million. Revenue increased by 21% to $270 million. The results were bolstered by the company’s April purchase of the failed First NBC Bank.

Hancock, which has five branches in Houston, said it has not seen any significant change to credit quality following Hurricane Harvey, which triggered widespread flooding in August.

The company continued to reduce the size of its energy portfolio, which has shrunk by 20% over the past year, with loans totaling $1.1 billion at Sept. 30. Hancock made $52 million in energy loans in the third quarter, but the additions were offset by $142 million of runoff and $8 million in chargeoffs.

While Hancock warned that more energy-related chargeoffs are possible, it said that its current $65 million reserve should be more than adequate.

Overall, nonperforming loans rose 18%, to $366 million, with energy loans accounting for about 40% of the increase.

The company reported robust balance sheet growth. Deposits increased by 14%, to $18.8 billion, and loans rose by 18%, to $21.5 billion. The net interest margin expanded by 24 basis points to 3.44%.

Hancock said it expects to originate $250 million to $300 million in loans during the fourth quarter.

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Community banking Regional banks Branding Earnings Mississippi Louisiana