Indiana community bank Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) has stuck to a defined de novo banking strategy for decades. It all boils down to this: Find a new market, gradually open branches, and build market share. It's not a sexy game plan. Lakeland doesn't grow through M&A. The bank doesn't roll out branches in rapid fire. On average, Lakeland has opened one branch a year for the last 16 years.
In other words, Lakeland is methodical in its approach -and arguably a bit boring - except for one small thing: The bank has grown its loan portfolio and net income through all the business cycles of the past 25 years. It has performed well in good times, in bad times,...
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