Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lakeland Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

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

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods dropped their target price on Lakeland Financial Corp. from $48.00 to $32.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. DA Davidson assumed coverage on Lakeland Financial Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 21st. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $39.33.

Analyst Recommendations for Lakeland Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:LKFN)

Lakeland Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:LKFN) opened at 35.28 on Wednesday. Lakeland Financial Corp. has a one year low of $26.53 and a one year high of $37.74. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $35.56 and a 200 day moving average price of $33.03. The firm has a market cap of $878.26 million, a PE ratio of 18.25 and a beta of 0.82.

Lakeland Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:LKFN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.05. Lakeland Financial Corp. had a return on equity of 12.19% and a net margin of 30.35%. Equities research analysts expect that Lakeland Financial Corp. will post $2.00 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 21st. Lakeland Financial Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.66%.

In related news, Director Emily E. Pichon sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.55, for a total value of $35,550.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 12,875 shares in the company, valued at $457,706.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Kevin L. Deardorff sold 4,263 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.24, for a total transaction of $150,228.12. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 43,324 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,526,737.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Lakeland Financial Corp. by 36.4% in the first quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 74,007 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,388,000 after buying an additional 19,754 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement System purchased a new stake in shares of Lakeland Financial Corp. during the first quarter worth approximately $449,000. Sii Investments Inc. WI increased its stake in shares of Lakeland Financial Corp. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 18,315 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $864,000 after buying an additional 1,015 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust purchased a new stake in shares of Lakeland Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $1,461,000. Finally, Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its stake in shares of Lakeland Financial Corp. by 6.7% in the second quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 70,999 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,337,000 after buying an additional 4,466 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.53% of the company’s stock.

About Lakeland Financial Corp.

Lakeland Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary, Lake City Bank (the Bank), provides an array of products and services throughout its Northern and Central Indiana markets. It offers commercial and consumer banking services, as well as trust and wealth management, brokerage, investment and treasury management commercial services.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:LKFN

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