BidaskClub Downgrades Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) to Strong Sell

BidaskClub lowered shares of Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note published on Tuesday, BidAskClub reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lakeland Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, January 30th.

NASDAQ:LKFN opened at $47.40 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 0.96. The company has a fifty day moving average of $48.29 and a two-hundred day moving average of $46.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.21 billion, a PE ratio of 14.02 and a beta of 0.90. Lakeland Financial has a fifty-two week low of $41.26 and a fifty-two week high of $50.00.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last issued its earnings results on Monday, January 27th. The financial services provider reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $50.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $48.46 million. Lakeland Financial had a net margin of 33.45% and a return on equity of 15.42%. Research analysts forecast that Lakeland Financial will post 3.1 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 5th. Stockholders of record on Saturday, January 25th were given a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.53%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, January 24th. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.50%.

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 value of $98,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,225,500. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Batty Jill A. De sold 2,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.65, for a total transaction of $136,220.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 6,462 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $314,376.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 14,467 shares of company stock valued at $695,853 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LKFN. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Lakeland Financial during the second quarter worth about $7,397,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 15.7% during the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 1,027,917 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $45,208,000 after purchasing an additional 139,228 shares during the last quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 28.4% during the third 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 during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 37.7% during the third 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in Lakeland Financial by 6.5% during the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,151,076 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $56,322,000 after purchasing an additional 70,558 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.57% of the company’s stock.

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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