BancorpSouth Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of BancorpSouth (NYS: BXS) closed off 15% when a marginal increase in third-quarter earnings fell shy of Wall Street estimates.

So what: Total assets for the banker serving the southeastern U.S. fell to $13.2 billion from $13.6 billion in last year's Q3. Deposits fell 1.2% to $11.1 billion while loans and leases fell 4.8% to $9.1 billion. On the bright side, non-performing loans fell 4.5% sequentially.

Now what: Yet that wasn't enough to impress investors focused on the bottom line. Bancorp South's $0.14 per share of profit was just a penny better than last year's Q3 -- and $0.02 short of what analysts had hoped for, according to data compiled by Yahoo! Finance. Does the miss matter? You tell me. Please weigh in using the comments box below.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorTim Beyersis a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakersstock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdingsandFoolish writings, or connect with him onGoogle+or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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