BidaskClub Upgrades Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) to “Sell”

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) was upgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, BidAskClub reports.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Lakeland Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 4th.

NASDAQ LKFN traded up $0.03 on Thursday, hitting $39.26. 39,704 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 103,524. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $38.66 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $43.66. The firm has a market cap of $1.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.22 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.97. Lakeland Financial has a fifty-two week low of $30.49 and a fifty-two week high of $50.00.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last posted its earnings results on Monday, April 27th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $49.63 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $47.41 million. Lakeland Financial had a return on equity of 14.04% and a net margin of 32.24%. On average, research analysts predict that Lakeland Financial will post 2.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Lakeland Financial news, Director Daniel F. Evans acquired 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 10th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $37.00 per share, with a total value of $37,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,410 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $755,170. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director M Scott Welch acquired 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 6th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $36.74 per share, for a total transaction of $367,400.00. Insiders have purchased 32,075 shares of company stock worth $1,183,740 over the last ninety days. 4.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Raymond James & Associates increased its stake in Lakeland Financial by 134.4% in the 4th quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 20,767 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,016,000 after acquiring an additional 11,908 shares during the last quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC increased its stake in Lakeland Financial by 75.5% during the fourth quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC now owns 932 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $46,000 after acquiring an additional 401 shares during the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its stake in Lakeland Financial by 56.1% during the fourth quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 33,442 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,637,000 after acquiring an additional 12,023 shares during the last quarter. Aptus Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Lakeland Financial by 7.6% during the first quarter. Aptus Capital Advisors LLC now owns 12,920 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $475,000 after acquiring an additional 912 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Trust Walden Corp increased its stake in Lakeland Financial by 23.0% during the first quarter. Boston Trust Walden Corp now owns 462,801 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $17,008,000 after acquiring an additional 86,646 shares during the last quarter. 77.70% of the stock is currently 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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