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 (NYSE: 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.

Interested in more info BancorpSouth? Add it to your watclist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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