Acadiana Business

Hancock earnings up in 3Q

by Heather Miller

Hancock Bank's first full quarter since its merger with Whitney Bank more than doubled the Mississippi-based bank's income over the same period last year.

Mississippi-based Hancock Bank, which acquired Louisiana's largest bank this year with its purchase of Whitney, reported earnings of $30.4 million, totaling 36 cents per share during the third quarter that ended Sept. 30.

According to The Times-Picayune, Hancock's income is up more than $15 million as compared to the same quarter last year, when the bank recorded earnings of $14.9 million, or 40 cents per share:

The acquisition of Whitney gave Hancock $11.7 billion in additional assets, $6.5 billion in additional loans, and $9.2 billion in additional deposits.

In order to protect Hancock's balance sheet, the company discounted Whitney's loan portfolio beyond the markdowns that Whitney had taken when the merger was completed June 4. Instead of taking Whitney's $208 million write-down on loans, Hancock reduced the value of the Whitney loan portfolio on its books by $463 million.

That meant that any loan losses that showed up during the third quarter were the result of Hancock's "legacy" portfolio, or the portfolio it held prior to the merger.

Like many banks, Hancock said it has experienced limited demand for new loans, and many commercial customers are conserving cash and paying down existing loans to remain nimble in a tough economy. But Hancock has seen some loan growth on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in Baton Rouge, south central Louisiana, and Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla.

The transition into a Hancock-Whitney combination has been a smooth one, according to The T-P, predictably far less hectic than the days leading up to the purchase, when Hancock swooped in and outbid Lafayette-based IberiaBank after months of negotiations between Iberia and Whitney.

Read more on Hancock's earnings here.

Click here for past ABiz coverage on the Hancock-Whitney merger.