On May 26, 2023, Principal Financial Group Inc announced the trimming of its stake in Lakeland Financial Co. (NASDAQ:LKFN) by 7.3% in the fourth quarter. This move resulted in a decrease from their previous ownership of $11,399,000 to $11,394,000. While this may seem like a small drop in value at first glance, the increasing trend of such actions begs important questions about the future of these companies.
Lakeland Financial released their earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. Unfortunately for shareholders, they missed analysts’ expectations by reporting $0.94 EPS for the quarter – $0.14 less than was anticipated. However, the company still showed strength by having revenue of $89.53 million during the quarter compared to previous expectations of only $66.40 million.
In related news, Emily E. Pichon (Director) acquired 1,025 shares of LKFN stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 8th at an average cost of $47.80 per share for a total value of $48,995.00. Following her purchase and previous holdings, she now directly owns a total of 16,238 shares valued at $776,176.40.
Additionally, Director Brian J Smith took action on Friday April 28th purchasing 10k shares for an average cost of $51 per share totaling at $510k and following completion now holds direct ownership over 38k shares worth approximately $1,947m.
During the last ninety days alone company insiders have already purchased over 32k shares amounting to almost 2m meaning insiders own approximately 3% overall ownership over stocks included in these operations.
Obviously there are numerous factors that come into play when predicting how trading or investing is going to perform on LKFN or any other stock ultimately implicated under similar circumstances but this steady dropping of ownership should be monitored and scrutinized closely by investors following Lakeland Financial closely.
Institutional Investors and Board Members Boost Positions in Lakeland Financial, Despite Volatility
Lakeland Financial, a financial services provider with a market capitalization of $1.28 billion, is gaining attention from institutional investors and hedge funds. Recent regulatory filings indicate that State Street Corp, Vanguard Group Inc., BlackRock Inc., Invesco Ltd., and Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC have strengthened their positions in the company by purchasing additional shares in the first and third quarters of this year. As of now, around 80.45% of Lakeland Financial’s shares are owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Despite the strong support from institutional investors, LKFN stock has experienced volatility in recent periods with a one-year low of $43.05 and a one-year high of $83.57. The current P/E ratio is at 12.42 with a beta of 0.72.
In related news, two directors have made significant purchases of LKFN stock in April and May this year, boosting their individual holdings even further. Director Emily E. Pichon acquired a total of 1,025 shares at an average price of $47.80 per share last May 8th while Director Brian J. Smith bought 10,000 shares with an average cost of $51 per share on April 28th.
Lakeland Financial also announced its quarterly dividend payment to its shareholders last May 5th amounting to $0.46 per share for those on record as shareholders since April 25th this year with an ex-dividend date falling on April 24th.
Several research analysts have weighed in on Lakeland Financial’s recent performance including StockNews.com which issued a “sell” rating for the company while Raymond James lowered their previous price objective for LKFN stock from $74 to $66.
With these developments unfolding in Lakeland Financial’s financial standing recently, it remains to be seen how the market will adjust moving forward as the company navigates through the effects of recent buy-in activity from institutional investors and hedge funds coupled with increased holdings by two board members.
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