Investment analysts at Brean Capital started coverage on shares of Carolina Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CARO) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm set a “hold” rating on the financial services provider’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. Sandler O’Neill upgraded Carolina Financial Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised Carolina Financial Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $27.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, October 24th. TheStreet raised Carolina Financial Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 10th. Finally, Stephens assumed coverage on Carolina Financial Corp. in a research note on Friday, September 9th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $22.50 target price for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $23.50.

Carolina Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CARO) opened at 26.42 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $23.90 and its 200 day moving average is $20.85. The stock has a market capitalization of $325.73 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.30 and a beta of 0.38. Carolina Financial Corp. has a 1-year low of $14.58 and a 1-year high of $26.75.

Carolina Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CARO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.09. Carolina Financial Corp. had a return on equity of 12.27% and a net margin of 18.66%. Equities analysts anticipate that Carolina Financial Corp. will post $1.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 11th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.04 per share. This is a positive change from Carolina Financial Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 23rd. This represents a $0.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.61%. Carolina Financial Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 8.82%.

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In other Carolina Financial Corp. news, Director Daniel H. Isaac, Jr. purchased 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $25.00 per share, with a total value of $225,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 63,551 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,588,775. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 15.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in 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. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new stake in Carolina Financial Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $3,569,000. State Street Corp acquired a new stake in Carolina Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $1,898,000. RMB Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Carolina Financial Corp. by 65.4% in the third quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 224,710 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,020,000 after buying an additional 88,845 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. acquired a new stake in Carolina Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $1,456,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 27.25% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:CARO

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