Carolina Financial Corp (NASDAQ:CARO) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the nine brokerages that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $38.00.

Several brokerages have commented on CARO. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Brean Capital restated a “buy” rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Raymond James Financial restated an “outperform” rating and set a $42.00 price objective (up from $40.00) on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ CARO) traded up $0.79 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $37.17. 542,085 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 100,060. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. Carolina Financial has a 52 week low of $22.20 and a 52 week high of $40.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $782.80, a P/E ratio of 19.26 and a beta of 0.45.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 14th will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This is an increase from Carolina Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 13th. Carolina Financial’s payout ratio is currently 10.93%.

In other Carolina Financial news, Director Robert M. Moise sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.76, for a total transaction of $110,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 119,086 shares in the company, valued at $4,377,601.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 12.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 14.5% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 445,806 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,374,000 after buying an additional 56,618 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 11.5% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 99,657 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,989,000 after buying an additional 10,312 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 79.1% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 109,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,283,000 after buying an additional 48,319 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 35.9% during the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 21,200 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $636,000 after buying an additional 5,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new position in shares of Carolina Financial during the second quarter worth $404,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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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