Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday morning. The brokerage currently has $49.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

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

LKFN has been the subject of a number of other research reports. DA Davidson upgraded shares of Lakeland Financial Corporation from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 18th. ValuEngine raised shares of Lakeland Financial Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Lakeland Financial Corporation from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Monday, August 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.00.

Shares of Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ LKFN) opened at 42.32 on Monday. Lakeland Financial Corporation has a 52 week low of $33.98 and a 52 week high of $48.88. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $44.77 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.70. The firm has a market cap of $1.06 billion, a PE ratio of 18.98 and a beta of 0.84.

Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $42.61 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $41.86 million. Lakeland Financial Corporation had a net margin of 30.72% and a return on equity of 13.06%. Equities analysts expect that Lakeland Financial Corporation will post $2.37 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, insider Eric H. Ottinger sold 1,899 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.28, for a total value of $87,885.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 21,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $995,020. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Batty Jill A. De sold 800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.31, for a total transaction of $34,648.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 8,132 shares in the company, valued at $352,196.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 3,149 shares of company stock worth $142,334. 5.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in shares of Lakeland Financial Corporation by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 20,562 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $887,000 after buying an additional 836 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its position in Lakeland Financial Corporation by 1.5% during the 1st quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 305,057 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,203,000 after purchasing an additional 4,457 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Lakeland Financial Corporation by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,020,218 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $43,992,000 after purchasing an additional 28,198 shares during the last quarter. John W. Rosenthal Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Lakeland Financial Corporation by 4.4% during the 1st quarter. John W. Rosenthal Capital Management Inc. now owns 145,874 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,290,000 after purchasing an additional 6,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank grew its position in Lakeland Financial Corporation by 3.5% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 41,250 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,779,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. 69.31% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Lakeland Financial Corporation

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.

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