Short Interest in Lakeland Financial Co. (NASDAQ:LKFN) Declines By 18.9%

Lakeland Financial Co. (NASDAQ:LKFN) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 651,900 shares, a decrease of 18.9% from the March 15th total of 803,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 116,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.6 days. Approximately 2.6% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lakeland Financial from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 7th.

LKFN opened at $69.64 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13. The stock has a market cap of $1.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.83 and a beta of 0.93. Lakeland Financial has a twelve month low of $34.24 and a twelve month high of $77.05. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $70.94 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $58.59.

Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) last released its earnings results on Sunday, January 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.97 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.16. The firm had revenue of $56.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $52.25 million. Lakeland Financial had a net margin of 33.90% and a return on equity of 13.31%. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Lakeland Financial will post 3.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 5th. Investors of record on Sunday, April 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 22nd. Lakeland Financial’s payout ratio is currently 40.24%.

In other Lakeland Financial news, EVP Michael E. Gavin sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.78, for a total value of $215,340.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Stephanie R. Leniski sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.13, for a total transaction of $38,478.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 502 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $32,193.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 92,418 shares of company stock valued at $5,735,529 over the last ninety days. 4.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Lazard Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Lakeland Financial during the 4th quarter valued at $25,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC bought a new stake in Lakeland Financial during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Lakeland Financial during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 307.4% during the third quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 8,115 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $54,000 after purchasing an additional 6,123 shares in the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in Lakeland Financial by 6.9% during the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,667 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $143,000 after purchasing an additional 172 shares in the last quarter. 73.75% 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.

Featured Article: What is the significance of the death cross?

Receive News & Ratings for Lakeland Financial Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Lakeland Financial and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.