Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its stake in shares of Carolina Financial Corp (NASDAQ:CARO) by 390.1% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 6,753 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,375 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY’s holdings in Carolina Financial were worth $200,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Squarepoint Ops LLC bought a new position in shares of Carolina Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $277,000. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 7.5% during the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 114,554 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,389,000 after buying an additional 8,004 shares during the period. RMB Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 494,071 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $14,620,000 after buying an additional 30,956 shares during the period. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp lifted its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 46.6% during the 4th quarter. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp now owns 637,438 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $18,862,000 after buying an additional 202,497 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 10.1% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 231,619 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,853,000 after buying an additional 21,279 shares during the period. 55.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several brokerages have issued reports on CARO. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Carolina Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. BidaskClub upgraded Carolina Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. ValuEngine downgraded Carolina Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $41.00 price objective on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Finally, Stephens reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Wednesday, December 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $33.60.

In other news, Director Robert M. Moise sold 5,500 shares of Carolina Financial stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.92, for a total value of $181,060.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 98,743 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,250,619.56. The transaction 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 Carolina Financial stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.87, for a total value of $179,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, 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 sold a total of 30,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,050,410 over the last three months. Insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

Shares of CARO opened at $35.93 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10. Carolina Financial Corp has a 52-week low of $27.62 and a 52-week high of $45.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $812.33 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.56 and a beta of 1.00.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $43.41 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $45.07 million. Carolina Financial had a return on equity of 11.60% and a net margin of 24.72%. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Carolina Financial Corp will post 2.9 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th were paid a $0.08 dividend. This is a boost from Carolina Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. Carolina Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 11.19%.

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About Carolina Financial

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO)

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