Lake City Bank Recognized as Top Performer by Sandler O'Neill

Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:00am EST

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WARSAW, Ind., Nov. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN), parent company of Lake City Bank, announced today that it has once again been included on the Sandler O'Neill + Partners Sm-All Stars List. Lakeland Financial is one of only six bank holding companies that were members of the Sm-All Stars Class in 2011.

Sandler O'Neill + Partners annually evaluates all publicly-traded banks and thrifts nationwide with a market cap of less than $2 billion to identify the top-performing small-cap banks and thrifts in the nation. The analysis focuses on growth, profitability, asset quality, and capital strength, evaluating each institution's absolute performance in each of eight financial variables. Lakeland Financial was selected as one of only 25 institutions out of the initial field of 461 to be recognized for "delivering bottom line results that are markedly better than the industry as a whole."

Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "It's rewarding for the entire Lake City Bank Team to be included in this list of high performing banks, especially for the second year in a row. With over 7,000 banks in the country, being included in this list is a great honor."

Lakeland Financial Corporation is a $3.0 billion bank holding company headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana. Lake City Bank serves Indiana with 45 branches located in the following Indiana counties: Kosciusko, Elkhart, Allen, St. Joseph, DeKalb, Fulton, Hamilton, Huntington, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Pulaski and Whitley.

Lakeland Financial Corporation may be accessed on the home page of its subsidiary, Lake City Bank, at www.lakecitybank.com. The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under "LKFN."

CONTACT: David M. Findlay
         President and
         Chief Financial Officer
         (574) 267-9197
         david.findlay@lakecitybank.com