Lakeland Financial Co. (NASDAQ:LKFN) Short Interest Update

Lakeland Financial Co. (NASDAQ:LKFN) was the target of a large growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,998,600 shares, a growth of 8.1% from the June 30th total of 1,848,500 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 72,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 27.5 days. Currently, 8.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In other news, insider Kristin Pruitt sold 1,600 shares of Lakeland Financial stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total transaction of $73,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 7,494 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $344,724. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director M Scott Welch purchased 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 14th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $42.51 per share, with a total value of $425,100.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 1,907 shares in the company, valued at $81,066.57. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Lakeland Financial by 3.9% during the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 11,070 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $445,000 after buying an additional 420 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 30.2% in the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 131,102 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,264,000 after purchasing an additional 30,394 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 13.8% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,356 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $175,000 after purchasing an additional 529 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,049,134 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $42,134,000 after purchasing an additional 11,809 shares during the period. Finally, Kessler Investment Group LLC grew its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 32.1% in the first quarter. Kessler Investment Group LLC now owns 4,499 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $203,000 after purchasing an additional 1,094 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.14% of the company’s stock.

Lakeland Financial stock traded up $1.45 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $44.20. 89,189 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 76,292. The company has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.12, a P/E/G ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 0.94. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $44.90 and its 200-day simple moving average is $46.18. Lakeland Financial has a 1 year low of $37.79 and a 1 year high of $51.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 0.98.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.81 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $50.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $49.78 million. Lakeland Financial had a return on equity of 16.03% and a net margin of 33.35%. On average, analysts forecast that Lakeland Financial will post 3.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, July 25th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, July 24th. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.34%.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on LKFN. BidaskClub raised Lakeland Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 3rd. ValuEngine raised Lakeland Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Lakeland Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Lakeland Financial in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd.

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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