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. “

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on CARO. ValuEngine cut shares of Zuora from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, June 1st. Sandler O’Neill lowered shares of Heritage Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating and decreased their target price for the company from $34.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Stephens reiterated a hold rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Zebra Technologies from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, May 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Carolina Financial currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $37.40.

Shares of CARO stock traded up $0.26 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $34.79. The stock had a trading volume of 1,349 shares, compared to its average volume of 51,724. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13. Carolina Financial has a twelve month low of $27.62 and a twelve month high of $43.70. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $34.76. The company has a market cap of $770.54 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.10 and a beta of 1.01.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by ($0.02). Carolina Financial had a return on equity of 10.99% and a net margin of 29.22%. The firm had revenue of $43.34 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $44.74 million. Analysts predict that Carolina Financial will post 2.85 EPS for the current year.

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

In other news, Director Jeffery L. Deal sold 1,105 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.09, for a total transaction of $40,984.45. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 22,296 shares in the company, valued at approximately $826,958.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jeffery L. Deal sold 2,087 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.70, for a total transaction of $76,592.90. Following the transaction, the director now owns 21,590 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $792,353. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,192 shares of company stock valued at $568,477 in the last quarter. 6.89% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 14.1% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 759,329 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $22,469,000 after purchasing an additional 94,043 shares in the last quarter. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 46.6% in the fourth 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. Tributary Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 14.5% in the first quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC now owns 522,860 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $18,086,000 after buying an additional 66,236 shares during the period. RMB Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 6.7% in the fourth 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. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Carolina Financial by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 283,739 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,395,000 after buying an additional 6,441 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 55.89% of the company’s stock.

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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