Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday 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 equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Stephens reiterated a hold rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Sandler O’Neill lowered Heritage Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $34.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Friday, April 26th. BidaskClub lowered Zebra Technologies from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, May 24th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Zuora from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, June 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $37.40.

Shares of Carolina Financial stock traded up $0.26 during trading on Monday, hitting $34.79. 1,349 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 51,724. The company has a market capitalization of $770.54 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.10 and a beta of 1.01. Carolina Financial has a 1-year low of $27.62 and a 1-year high of $43.70. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $34.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 0.84 and a quick ratio of 0.84.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share (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 return on equity of 10.99% and a net margin of 29.22%. Sell-side analysts predict that Carolina Financial will post 2.85 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 5th. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th were given a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 13th. This is a positive change from Carolina Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.03%. Carolina Financial’s payout ratio is currently 12.59%.

In other Carolina Financial news, EVP David L. Morrow sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.12, for a total transaction of $74,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 122,792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,558,039.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Jeffery L. Deal sold 1,105 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.09, for a total value of $40,984.45. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 22,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $826,958.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,192 shares of company stock valued at $568,477 over the last quarter. 6.89% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in Carolina Financial by 37.4% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,009 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $89,000 after acquiring an additional 819 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in Carolina Financial by 34.3% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,765 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 961 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Carolina Financial by 62,642.9% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,392 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after acquiring an additional 4,385 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its position in Carolina Financial by 390.1% during the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 6,753 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $200,000 after acquiring an additional 5,375 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp acquired a new position in Carolina Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $209,000. 55.89% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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