CresCom Bank’s parent company, Carolina Financial Corp., joins Nasdaq

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published July 1, 2014

The parent company of Charleston-based CresCom Bank has joined the Nasdaq capital market.

Carolina Financial Corp. is now trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol CARO after transitioning from the OTCQB marketplace.

The company’s president and CEO, Jerry L. Rexroad, said being listed on the Nasdaq is a “significant accomplishment.”

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“Moving to the Nasdaq is part of our strategic plan to provide our shareholders liquidity in their stock,” Rexroad said in a statement.

CARO opened today at $19.85 per share, and its market capitalization, the total dollar value of all outstanding shares, was around $80.8 million. The company had about 4 million outstanding shares.

In October 2013, Carolina Financial Corp. joined the OTC Bulletin Board, an online site where traders can put in orders to buy and sell stock.

Then, in late February, Carolina Financial Corp. filed a Form 10 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and an application to become a publicly traded company. Its registration statement with the SEC became effective in late April.

CresCom Bank CEO David Morrow said he expects the bank’s going public to provide a broader and more open market for shareholders.

“When we were a private bank, if you wanted to buy our stock, you had to find somebody that owned our stock,” Morrow said in an April interview with the Charleston Regional Business Journal. “Then you had to negotiate with them whether you knew anything about the company or not. This will provide liquidity for our shareholders.”

The public will not see any changes at the bank, according to Morrow. But in preparation of going public, the board of directors approved a two-for-one stock split to shareholders in February.

“People are more inclined to buy a $20 stock than they are to buy a $40 stock,” Morrow said.

The board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 5 cents per share payable on its common stock, according to a news release. The dividend will be payable on July 10 to shareholders as of June 20.

CresCom Bank operates four branches in Myrtle Beach and eight branches in the Lowcountry. Additional branches are planned in Cane Bay, Socastee and Greenville. The bank also owns and operates Atlanta-based Crescent Mortgage Co., which lends in 43 states.

As of March 31, CresCom Bank had nearly $920 million in total assets and deposits of almost $750 million, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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