Carolina Financial (CARO) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday. The firm currently has $43.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

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. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Sandler O’Neill set a $44.00 price target on Carolina Financial and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Brean Capital restated a buy rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine cut Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. BidaskClub cut Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reiterated an outperform rating and set a $42.00 price objective (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $40.17.

Shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ CARO) opened at $38.50 on Wednesday. Carolina Financial has a 12 month low of $22.34 and a 12 month high of $40.20. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. The firm has a market capitalization of $816.30, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.08 and a beta of 0.45.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 14th were given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This is a boost from Carolina Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 13th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.52%. Carolina Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 10.93%.

In other Carolina Financial news, Director Robert M. Moise sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.76, for a total transaction of $110,280.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 119,086 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,377,601.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 12.23% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CARO. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in shares of Carolina Financial in the second quarter worth $16,657,000. John W. Rosenthal Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Carolina Financial in the third quarter worth $2,878,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 17.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 523,484 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $16,919,000 after purchasing an additional 77,678 shares during the period. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust increased its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 93.6% in the third quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 145,214 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,210,000 after purchasing an additional 70,214 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 46.1% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 212,321 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,617,000 after purchasing an additional 66,955 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 35.49% of the company’s stock.

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Carolina Financial Company Profile

Carolina Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company operates through CresCom Bank (the Bank), a state-chartered commercial bank. The Company operates through three segments: community banking, wholesale mortgage banking (mortgage banking) and other. The Company’s community banking segment provides traditional banking services offered through CresCom Bank.

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