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

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday, ValuEngine reports.

LKFN has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 25th. Boenning Scattergood restated a hold rating on shares of Lakeland Financial in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut Lakeland Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, July 19th.

LKFN stock traded down $0.27 during trading on Thursday, hitting $44.73. The stock had a trading volume of 76,073 shares, compared to its average volume of 80,329. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.96. Lakeland Financial has a twelve month low of $37.79 and a twelve month high of $51.25. The stock has a market cap of $1.15 billion, a PE ratio of 14.29, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.94. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $45.64.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.04. Lakeland Financial had a return on equity of 16.37% and a net margin of 33.35%. The company had revenue of $50.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $49.78 million. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Lakeland Financial will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 24th. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.34%.

In related news, insider Kristin Pruitt sold 1,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total value of $73,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,494 shares in the company, valued at $344,724. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 1.1% in the fourth 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 last quarter. BTIM Corp. lifted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 24.8% in the first quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 372,254 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,834,000 after acquiring an additional 73,891 shares during the last quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 115.1% in the second quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 332,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $15,561,000 after acquiring an additional 177,839 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 296,711 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,915,000 after acquiring an additional 22,722 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Timucuan Asset Management Inc. FL acquired a new position in Lakeland Financial in the first quarter valued at approximately $6,538,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.25% of the company’s stock.

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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