updated 11/16/2010 5:46:48 PM ET 2010-11-16T22:46:48

GULFPORT, Miss., Nov. 16, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hancock Holding Company (Nasdaq:HBHC) today announced that the company's board of directors approved a regular fourth quarter 2010 common stock cash dividend of $0.24 per share.

Approved during the November meeting of the company's board of directors, the regular quarterly common stock cash dividend is payable December 15, 2010, to shareholders of record as of December 6, 2010.

About Hancock Holding Company

Hancock Holding Company – parent company of Hancock Bank (Mississippi and Florida), Hancock Bank of Louisiana, and Hancock Bank of Alabama – had assets of approximately $8.2 billion as of September 30, 2010. Founded in 1899, Hancock Bank recently rated as one of the country's strongest, safest financial institutions for more than 20 consecutive years, according to BauerFinancial, Inc. More corporate information and e-banking are available at www.hancockbank.com .

The Hancock Holding Company logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=2758

"SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995Congress passed the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995 in an effort to encourage corporations to provide information about companies' anticipated future financial performance. This act provides a safe harbor for such disclosure, which protects the companies from unwarranted litigation if actual results are different from management expectations. This release contains forward-looking statements and reflects management's current views and estimates of future economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance, and financial results. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties which could cause the Company's actual results and experience to differ from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements.

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