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

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

Shares of NASDAQ:LKFN traded up $1.45 on Friday, hitting $44.20. The company had a trading volume of 89,189 shares, compared to its average volume of 76,292. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $44.95 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $46.19. Lakeland Financial has a 1 year low of $37.79 and a 1 year high of $51.25. The company has a quick ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23. The firm 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.

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

The firm also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, July 24th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.71%. Lakeland Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.34%.

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

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Copeland Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 115.1% in the second quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 332,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $15,561,000 after buying an additional 177,839 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Lakeland Financial in the second quarter worth approximately $7,397,000. Timucuan Asset Management Inc. FL bought a new stake in shares of Lakeland Financial in the first quarter worth approximately $6,538,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in Lakeland Financial by 327.4% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 134,689 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,304,000 after buying an additional 103,176 shares during the period. Finally, BTIM Corp. grew its position in Lakeland Financial by 24.8% during the first quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 372,254 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,834,000 after buying an additional 73,891 shares during the period. 74.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on LKFN shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Lakeland Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Lakeland Financial in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lakeland Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Lakeland Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 3rd.

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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