Shares of Carolina Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CARO) have received a consensus broker rating score of 2.50 (Hold) from the two analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. Carolina Financial Corp.’s rating score has declined by 25% from three months ago as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokerages have set a one year consensus target price of $21.25 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.37 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Carolina Financial Corp. an industry rank of 105 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of research firms have commented on CARO. Stephens began coverage on shares of Carolina Financial Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 9th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $22.50 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Carolina Financial Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Sandler O’Neill began coverage on shares of Carolina Financial Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock.

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In other news, Director Michael P. Leddy sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.19, for a total transaction of $201,900.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 92,607 shares in the company, valued at $1,869,735.33. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 15.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial Corp. by 14.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 360,115 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,727,000 after buying an additional 44,553 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial Corp. by 1,189.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 274,166 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,121,000 after buying an additional 252,896 shares during the last quarter. Northpointe Capital LLC raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial Corp. by 26.2% in the second quarter. Northpointe Capital LLC now owns 182,831 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,415,000 after buying an additional 37,978 shares during the last quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Carolina Financial Corp. by 15.9% in the second quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 135,865 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,538,000 after buying an additional 18,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp bought a new position in shares of Carolina Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth about $1,898,000. Institutional investors own 25.77% of the company’s stock.

Carolina Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CARO) traded down 0.14% on Wednesday, reaching $22.15. 8,703 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $21.23 and its 200 day moving average price is $19.02. The firm has a market capitalization of $273.02 million, a PE ratio of 17.45 and a beta of 0.38. Carolina Financial Corp. has a 52-week low of $14.49 and a 52-week high of $22.59.

Carolina Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CARO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.12. Carolina Financial Corp. had a net margin of 17.32% and a return on equity of 12.02%. On average, analysts predict that Carolina Financial Corp. will post $1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 29th will be given a dividend of $0.03 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 27th. This represents a $0.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.54%. Carolina Financial Corp.’s payout ratio is 9.30%.

About Carolina Financial Corp.

Carolina Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company operates through CresCom Bank, a South Carolina state-chartered bank (the 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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