Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Carolina Financial (CARO) to Hold

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

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 analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Brean Capital restated a “buy” rating on shares of Carolina Financial in a research note on Monday, February 5th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Carolina Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Stephens restated a “hold” rating and set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Carolina Financial in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Sandler O’Neill set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Carolina Financial and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Carolina Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $41.67.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) traded up $0.26 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $39.06. 45,891 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 105,740. The company has a market cap of $815.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.32 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.81. Carolina Financial has a 1-year low of $22.62 and a 1-year high of $42.42.

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $37.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.33 million. Carolina Financial had a net margin of 22.22% and a return on equity of 12.15%. sell-side analysts anticipate that Carolina Financial will post 2.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Robert M. Moise sold 5,000 shares of Carolina Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.84, for a total value of $194,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 111,614 shares in the company, valued at $4,335,087.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 12.23% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 0.9% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 48,069 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,553,000 after acquiring an additional 446 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 19.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 3,786 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 607 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 3.7% in the second quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 25,468 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $823,000 after acquiring an additional 900 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 16.4% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 7,827 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $253,000 after acquiring an additional 1,104 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in shares of Carolina Financial by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 258,677 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,610,000 after acquiring an additional 2,539 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 34.57% 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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