Activist investor Joseph Stilwell is demanding that Carroll Bancorp in Sykesville, Md., pick up the pace on stock buybacks.
Stilwell has told the management and board of the $128 million-asset company to "maximize shareholder value by increasing the issuer's share repurchases of outstanding common stock rather than spending excess capital on rapid growth," according to a filing issued last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Carroll in April approved a plan to repurchase 38,364 shares of its outstanding common stock, and it approved a 20% stock dividend in March.
Stilwell has taken a newly aggressive tone in his dealings with the holding company for Carroll Community Bank. In an August 2014 statement of ownership, Stilwell said he and his funds "hope to work with existing management and the board of directors to maximize shareholder value. We encourage the issuer to pay dividends [and] repurchase shares of outstanding common stock with excess capital."
The new filing comes after Stilwell's ownership of Carroll was diluted as a result of the company's $5.1 million private placement of common stock in January. His stake has fallen to 6.7% of Carroll, down from 7% as of Carroll's March 16 proxy statement.
Carroll planned to use the proceeds from its private placement to increase "lending activity in its core market and support commercial lending in recently entered adjacent markets," according to a press release.