Carolina Financial (CARO) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Carolina Financial Corporation is the holding company of CresCom Bank. It operates through three reportable segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Mortgage Banking, and other. Its deposit products include checking accounts, commercial accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, and other time deposits. The company’s loan portfolio comprises loans to small and medium-sized businesses, residential and commercial construction and development loans, commercial real estate loans, residential mortgage loans, residential lot loans, home equity loans, and consumer loans. The company also offers mortgage banking services comprising correspondent lending and loan servicing; and cash management services. Carolina Financial Corporation is based in Charleston, South Carolina. “

Several other research firms have also recently commented on CARO. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 7th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Stephens reiterated a hold rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Sandler O’Neill cut shares of Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $38.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Brean Capital reiterated a buy rating and set a $41.00 target price on shares of Carolina Financial in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $34.33.

NASDAQ:CARO traded up $0.04 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $37.41. 870 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 46,055. The stock has a market cap of $826.33 million, a P/E ratio of 12.99 and a beta of 0.99. Carolina Financial has a twelve month low of $27.62 and a twelve month high of $45.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 0.84 and a quick ratio of 0.82.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $43.34 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $44.74 million. Carolina Financial had a net margin of 29.22% and a return on equity of 10.99%. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Carolina Financial will post 2.88 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.09 per share. This is a boost from Carolina Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 13th. Carolina Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.19%.

In other news, EVP David L. Morrow sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.12, for a total transaction of $76,240.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, President M. J. Huggins III sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.87, for a total transaction of $179,350.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 61,711 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,213,573.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 15,000 shares of company stock valued at $556,010 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new position in shares of Carolina Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $47,000. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 37.4% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,009 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $89,000 after buying an additional 819 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 34.3% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,765 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 961 shares in the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Carolina Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $126,000. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 62,642.9% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,392 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 4,385 shares in the last quarter. 54.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Carolina Financial Company Profile

Carolina Financial Corporation operates as a holding company for CresCom Bank that provides a range of commercial and retail banking financial services in South Carolina and North Carolina. The company operates through three segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Mortgage Banking, and Other. It offers noninterest-bearing demand accounts, interest-bearing demand and savings accounts, money market accounts, time deposits, and certificates of deposit.

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