Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “LAKELAND FINANCIAL CORP. is a bank holding company engaged in general banking business. “

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine raised Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, October 7th. BidaskClub raised Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th.

LKFN opened at $43.26 on Tuesday. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $43.43 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $45.26. Lakeland Financial has a 1 year low of $37.79 and a 1 year high of $49.20. The company has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.82, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.98.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.04. Lakeland Financial had a return on equity of 16.03% and a net margin of 33.35%. The firm had revenue of $50.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.78 million. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Lakeland Financial will post 3.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 25th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.77%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 24th. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio is 38.34%.

In related news, EVP Kevin L. Deardorff sold 3,870 shares of Lakeland Financial stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.96, for a total value of $170,125.20. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 50,535 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,221,518.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael L. Kubacki sold 10,944 shares of Lakeland Financial stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.23, for a total value of $473,109.12. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 204,934 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,859,296.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders purchased 11,000 shares of company stock worth $468,290 and sold 16,914 shares worth $738,349. 4.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel LLC increased its position in shares of Lakeland Financial by 4.4% in the second quarter. Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel LLC now owns 219,314 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $10,270,000 after acquiring an additional 9,212 shares during the last quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Lakeland Financial in the second quarter valued at about $450,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lakeland Financial in the second quarter valued at about $7,397,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Lakeland Financial by 6.5% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,021,829 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $47,852,000 after acquiring an additional 62,656 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Lakeland Financial by 17.1% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 13,548 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $634,000 after acquiring an additional 1,980 shares during the last quarter. 74.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Lakeland Financial

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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