First Trust Advisors LP Grows Position in First Merchants Corporation (FRME)

First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 31.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 181,334 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 43,403 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP owned 0.37% of First Merchants Corporation worth $7,785,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in FRME. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 116.1% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 14,264 shares of the bank’s stock worth $561,000 after purchasing an additional 7,664 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 3.4% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 94,852 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,730,000 after acquiring an additional 3,147 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 50.3% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $589,000 after acquiring an additional 5,013 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 5.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,787,054 shares of the bank’s stock worth $70,268,000 after acquiring an additional 91,051 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 4.8% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 349,872 shares of the bank’s stock worth $13,756,000 after acquiring an additional 16,039 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.15% of the company’s stock.

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Several research analysts have recently weighed in on FRME shares. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. First Merchants Corporation currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at $40.32 on Monday. First Merchants Corporation has a 1 year low of $26.55 and a 1 year high of $44.36. The company has a market cap of $1,981.44, a P/E ratio of 17.61, a P/E/G ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 10.38%. equities analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total value of $183,265.61. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders bought 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,681 over the last 90 days. 1.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About First Merchants Corporation

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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