Carolina Financial (CARO) Downgraded to “Hold” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine downgraded shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on CARO. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $42.00 target price (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Carolina Financial in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Brean Capital reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a report on Monday, October 30th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $39.00.

Shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) traded up $0.79 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $37.17. 542,085 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 100,060. The company has a market cap of $766.18, a P/E ratio of 18.85 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. Carolina Financial has a 1-year low of $22.20 and a 1-year high of $40.20.

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

In other Carolina Financial news, Director Robert M. Moise sold 3,000 shares of Carolina Financial stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were 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 in the company, valued at approximately $4,377,601.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 12.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CARO. Susquehanna International Group LLP acquired a new position in shares of Carolina Financial in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $1,061,000. Sterling Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Carolina Financial in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $806,000. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 9.5% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 31,635 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after buying an additional 2,735 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 4.7% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 539,386 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $19,353,000 after buying an additional 24,010 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial by 122.7% in the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 65,744 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,359,000 after buying an additional 36,228 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 35.49% of the company’s stock.

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About Carolina Financial

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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