Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on LKFN. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of American Water Works in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Misonix from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $52.50.

Shares of LKFN stock opened at $45.99 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 0.96. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $45.83. The company has a market cap of $1.18 billion, a PE ratio of 14.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.95. Lakeland Financial has a 52-week low of $37.79 and a 52-week high of $51.25.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $49.73 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $49.25 million. Lakeland Financial had a net margin of 33.75% and a return on equity of 16.34%. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Lakeland Financial will post 3.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 24th. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.34%.

In other news, insider Batty Jill A. De sold 4,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total transaction of $201,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 6,186 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $296,928. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Uncommon Cents Investing LLC lifted its stake in Lakeland Financial by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Uncommon Cents Investing LLC now owns 24,514 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,109,000 after purchasing an additional 295 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its stake in Lakeland Financial by 3.9% in the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 11,070 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $445,000 after purchasing an additional 420 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in Lakeland Financial by 13.8% in the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,356 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $175,000 after purchasing an additional 529 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank lifted its stake in Lakeland Financial by 3.2% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 17,554 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $831,000 after purchasing an additional 549 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers lifted its stake in Lakeland Financial by 3.7% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 17,911 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $810,000 after purchasing an additional 637 shares during the last quarter. 73.51% of the stock is 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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