Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

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

Several other analysts have also recently commented on LKFN. ValuEngine upgraded Lakeland Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 30th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Lakeland Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 31st.

Shares of Lakeland Financial stock traded up $0.79 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $49.25. 17,663 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 49,011. Lakeland Financial has a 52-week low of $41.26 and a 52-week high of $50.00. The company has a fifty day moving average of $48.40 and a 200-day moving average of $45.66. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.73 and a beta of 0.96.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.05. Lakeland Financial had a return on equity of 15.57% and a net margin of 33.08%. The business had revenue of $50.31 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $48.43 million. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Lakeland Financial will post 3.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Eric H. Ottinger sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.02, for a total transaction of $98,040.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,225,500. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LKFN. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Lakeland Financial during the 2nd quarter worth about $7,397,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lifted its holdings in shares of Lakeland Financial by 15.7% during the 3rd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 1,027,917 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $45,208,000 after acquiring an additional 139,228 shares during the period. Copeland Capital Management LLC increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 28.4% during the 3rd quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 426,598 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $18,762,000 after purchasing an additional 94,311 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 37.7% during the 3rd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 319,545 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $14,053,000 after purchasing an additional 87,423 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 6.5% during the 2nd 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. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.38% 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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