Should You Buy Lakeland Financial Corporation (LKFN)?

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Is Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN) worth your attention right now? The best stock pickers are in an optimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets inched up by 1 lately.

In today’s marketplace, there are many indicators market participants can use to monitor their holdings. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can trounce the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are lots of motivations for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if you understand what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a peek at the key action encompassing Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN).

Hedge fund activity in Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN)

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 17% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully.

Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN)When looking at the hedgies we track, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital had the biggest position in Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN), worth close to $8.4 million, accounting for 0.6% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is David Dreman of Dreman Value Management, with a $6.2 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies with similar optimism include John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

Now, key hedge funds have jumped into Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN) headfirst. D E Shaw, managed by D. E. Shaw, established the most outsized position in Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN). D E Shaw had 0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

What have insiders been doing with Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN)?

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN) has experienced 3 unique insiders buying, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Lakeland Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:LKFN). These stocks are First Busey Corporation (NASDAQ:BUSE), Wilshire Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:WIBC), Taylor Capital Group Inc (NASDAQ:TAYC), and First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME). All of these stocks are in the regional – midwest banks industry and their market caps are similar to LKFN’s market cap.

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