ValuEngine downgraded shares of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (NASDAQ:PEBK) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday morning.

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (NASDAQ PEBK) traded up $2.35 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $31.18. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 14,516 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,950. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a current ratio of 0.88. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina has a 1-year low of $19.65 and a 1-year high of $36.12.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 4th will be paid a $0.12 dividend. This is an increase from Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 1st. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.54%. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina’s payout ratio is presently 27.75%.

In other news, Director James S. Abernethy sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.13, for a total transaction of $30,130.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 65,557 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,975,232.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 10.88% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina by 129.3% during the 2nd quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 143,444 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,533,000 after purchasing an additional 80,895 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina by 127.4% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 20,815 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $657,000 after purchasing an additional 11,662 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 110,361 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,487,000 after purchasing an additional 3,798 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $355,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina by 107.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 146,965 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,644,000 after purchasing an additional 76,084 shares during the last quarter. 30.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc is a holding company for Peoples Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank, which serves the citizens and business interests of the Catawba Valley and surrounding communities. The Bank has approximately 20 banking offices located in Lincolnton, Newton, Denver, Catawba, Conover, Maiden, Claremont, Hiddenite, Hickory, Charlotte, Monroe, Cornelius, Mooresville Raleigh and North Carolina.

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