Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

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

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

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub lowered Lakeland Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. ValuEngine raised Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 7th.

LKFN traded up $0.20 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $44.27. 693 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 63,044. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.15, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.94. Lakeland Financial has a 1-year low of $37.79 and a 1-year high of $49.20. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $43.61 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $45.23. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $50.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $49.78 million. Lakeland Financial had a return on equity of 16.03% and a net margin of 33.35%. Analysts predict that Lakeland Financial will post 3.23 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 5th. Investors of record on Friday, October 25th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 24th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.71%. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.34%.

In other Lakeland Financial news, Director M Scott Welch purchased 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 14th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $42.51 per share, for a total transaction of $425,100.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 1,907 shares in the company, valued at $81,066.57. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael L. Kubacki sold 10,944 shares of Lakeland Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 204,934 shares in the company, valued at $8,859,296.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 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 owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Lakeland Financial by 0.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,843,217 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $86,318,000 after buying an additional 17,028 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Lakeland Financial by 1.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,193,513 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $55,892,000 after purchasing an additional 14,008 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Lakeland Financial by 6.5% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,021,829 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $47,852,000 after purchasing an additional 62,656 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Lakeland Financial by 0.5% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 689,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $32,290,000 after purchasing an additional 3,251 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Copeland Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Lakeland Financial by 115.1% during the second quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 332,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $15,561,000 after purchasing an additional 177,839 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.74% 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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