The parent company of Raleigh-based Paragon Bank said it has won approvals for its shares to be traded over the counter, a move the lender said will make it easier for investors to trade the shares.
Paragon Commercial Corp. announced last week that the Depository Trust Company and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority gave it approval for the shares to trade over the counter under the symbol PBNC.
The decision follows Paragon's 125-for-1 stock split in July. Paragon said the split lowered the share price to a level thought to be more attractive to investors.
“This is an exciting time for Paragon,” CEO Robert Hatley said in a statement. “We can now provide a way for our shareholders to buy and sell Paragon stock in an established market.”
|Paragon Bank's Charlotte office at 6337 Morrison Blvd.|
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Paragon’s share price hasn’t recovered as much as it should have since the recession ended, Hatley said, because the shares are so thinly traded and buying and selling shares isn’t easy. Many sellers end up going to the bank to get a list of potential buyers.
“Now that we’re doing well as a bank and we have climbed out of the recession, we have to pay particular attention to our shareholders,” Hatley said.Investment firm Raymond James & Associates will become a market maker in the stock. A market maker is a firm that stands ready to buy and sell a certain stock on a regular basis.
Also last week, Paragon recorded fourth-quarter profit of $2.7 million, about double the $1.4 million in profit from the same quarter a year earlier, as it grew deposits and loans.
Paragon has one branch in the Charlotte metropolitan area. That branch is at 6337 Morrison Blvd., where Paragon relocated offices from Piedmont Town Center last year.
Paragon is a private bank focused on businesses and individuals. Recently, the lender has been trying to draw more attention to its private-banking services. As part of that effort, in 2013 it changed the name of its bank from Paragon Commercial Bank to Paragon Bank.