Sandler O’Neill Lowers Carolina Financial (CARO) to Hold

Sandler O’Neill lowered shares of Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. Sandler O’Neill currently has $38.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday. Stephens reissued a hold rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Thursday. BidaskClub raised shares of Carolina Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, Brean Capital reissued a buy rating and set a $41.00 target price on shares of Carolina Financial in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $34.33.

NASDAQ CARO opened at $36.02 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10. The stock has a market cap of $803.39 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.59 and a beta of 1.00. Carolina Financial has a one year low of $27.62 and a one year high of $45.58.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $43.34 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $44.74 million. Carolina Financial had a net margin of 29.22% and a return on equity of 11.12%. On average, equities research analysts expect that Carolina Financial will post 2.9 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be given a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.00%. This is an increase from Carolina Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. Carolina Financial’s payout ratio is presently 11.19%.

In other Carolina Financial news, Director Michael P. Leddy sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.50, for a total transaction of $690,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 53,892 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,859,274. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President M. J. Huggins III sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.87, for a total transaction of $179,350.00. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 61,711 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,213,573.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 30,500 shares of company stock worth $1,050,410. 6.89% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Quantamental Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in Carolina Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $47,000. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its position in Carolina Financial by 37.4% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,009 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $89,000 after purchasing an additional 819 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its position in Carolina Financial by 34.3% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,765 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 961 shares during the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Carolina Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $126,000. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in Carolina Financial by 62,642.9% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,392 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $152,000 after acquiring an additional 4,385 shares during the period. 55.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO)

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