Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $43.00 price target 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. “

CARO has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Brean Capital set a $37.00 price objective on Carolina Financial and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. BidaskClub lowered Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Sandler O’Neill set a $44.00 price objective on Carolina Financial and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed 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. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. 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 company’s stock. Carolina Financial presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $40.17.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ CARO) traded down $0.04 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $38.76. The company had a trading volume of 65,570 shares, compared to its average volume of 88,009. Carolina Financial has a one year low of $22.34 and a one year high of $40.20. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. The company has a market cap of $821.14, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.30 and a beta of 0.29.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 14th were issued a $0.05 dividend. This is a positive change 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.52%. Carolina Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 10.99%.

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

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CARO. Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 826.4% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,159 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 2,818 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 3,786 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 607 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Carolina Financial in the 3rd quarter worth $143,000. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Carolina Financial in the 3rd quarter worth $212,000. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Carolina Financial in the 2nd quarter worth $235,000. 35.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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