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4 Reasons to Invest in Lakeland Financial (LKFN) Stock Now

The banking industry appears to be one of the beneficiaries of the presently improving domestic economy and rising-rate environment. Also, passage of the Financial Choice Act and consequent regulatory relief is likely to boost banks’ business.

Among others, Lakeland Financial Corporation LKFN is well positioned to gain based on strong fundamentals.

The company’s shares have surged 50.4% in the last one year, outperforming the Zacks categorized Banks - Midwest industry’s rally of 34.7%.

The company is also witnessing upward estimate revisions, reflecting analysts’ optimism about its growth prospects.

In the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year was marginally revised upward. As a result, the stocks currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

There are a number of other aspects that make Lakeland Financial an attractive investment option.

Earnings per Share (EPS) Growth: In the last 3–5 years, Lakeland Financial witnessed EPS growth of 11.5%, surpassing the industry average of 11%.

Moreover, the company’s earnings are projected to grow 10.6% in 2017, higher than the industry average of 9.8%. Also, its long-term (3–5 years) expected EPS growth of 10%, higher than the industry average of 8.7%, promises reward for shareholders.

Revenue Strength: Lakeland Financial’s revenues witnessed a CAGR of 7.6% in the last four years (2013–2016). Also, the top line is expected to grow nearly 11.8% in 2017, a lot higher than the industry average of 2.6%.

Superior Return on Equity (ROE): Lakeland Financial’s ROE is 11.97% compared with the industry average of 9.22%.

Strong Leverage: Lakeland Financial’s debt/equity ratio is 0.07, compared with 0.43 for the industry. This reflects that the company will be financially stable even in adverse economic conditions.

Other Stocks to Consider

A few other top-ranked stocks in the finance space are Eaton Vance Corp. EV, Franklin Resources, Inc. BEN and Enterprise Financial Services Corp EFSC.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Eaton Vance was revised 3.3% upward for the current fiscal year, in the last 60 days. The company’s share price has increased 36.6% in the last one year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Franklin Resources witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 2.5% for the current fiscal year, in the last 60 days. Its share price has increased 37.4% in the last one year. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Enterprise Financial also has a Zacks Rank #2. The company witnessed a marginal upward earnings estimate revision for the current year, in the last 60 days. Its share price surged 51.8% in the last one year.

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Enterprise Financial Services Corporation (EFSC): Free Stock Analysis Report
Lakeland Financial Corporation (LKFN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Eaton Vance Corporation (EV): Free Stock Analysis Report
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