Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) Lifted to “Hold” at BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Saturday, BidAskClub reports.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on LKFN. ValuEngine raised Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Lakeland Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 13th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Lakeland Financial in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd.

Shares of NASDAQ:LKFN opened at $44.44 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 0.94. Lakeland Financial has a 52 week low of $37.79 and a 52 week high of $51.25. The company has a quick ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $44.75 and a 200 day moving average of $46.15.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.81 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $50.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.78 million. Lakeland Financial had a net margin of 33.35% and a return on equity of 16.03%. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Lakeland Financial will post 3.25 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 25th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, July 24th. Lakeland Financial’s payout ratio is presently 38.34%.

In other news, insider Kristin Pruitt sold 1,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total transaction of $73,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,494 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $344,724. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director M Scott Welch purchased 10,000 shares of Lakeland Financial stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 14th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $42.51 per share, for a total transaction of $425,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,907 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $81,066.57. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 3.9% during the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 11,070 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $445,000 after acquiring an additional 420 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 30.2% during the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 131,102 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,264,000 after acquiring an additional 30,394 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 13.8% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,356 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $175,000 after acquiring an additional 529 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 1.1% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,049,134 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $42,134,000 after acquiring an additional 11,809 shares during the period. Finally, Copeland Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Lakeland Financial during the 1st quarter valued at about $6,984,000. 74.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Lakeland Financial Company Profile

Lakeland Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Lake City Bank that provides various banking products and services. The company accepts various deposit products, such as noninterest bearing, interest-bearing checking, savings, money market, NOW, and demand deposits. Its loan products include commercial and industrial, commercial real estate and multi-family residential, agri-business and agricultural, consumer 1-4 family mortgage, and other consumer loans.

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