First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) – Analysts at FIG Partners lowered their FY2017 earnings per share estimates for First Merchants Corporation in a note issued to investors on Monday, according to Zacks Investment Research. FIG Partners analyst B. Martin now forecasts that the bank will post earnings per share of $2.25 for the year, down from their previous forecast of $2.28.
Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target 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 assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.33.
Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at $40.32 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,981.44, a P/E ratio of 17.61, a price-to-earnings-growth 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 has a twelve month low of $26.55 and a twelve month high of $44.36.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 10.38%. The firm had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million.
In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total transaction of $183,265.61. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Over the last ninety days, insiders have bought 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,681. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in First Merchants Corporation by 7.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,666,493 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $147,175,000 after buying an additional 263,813 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. increased its position in First Merchants Corporation by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 2,301,325 shares of the bank’s stock worth $92,375,000 after purchasing an additional 23,350 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in First Merchants Corporation by 6.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,906,637 shares of the bank’s stock worth $76,533,000 after purchasing an additional 119,583 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in First Merchants Corporation by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,021,772 shares of the bank’s stock worth $41,014,000 after purchasing an additional 17,224 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its position in First Merchants Corporation by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 997,546 shares of the bank’s stock worth $40,042,000 after purchasing an additional 15,374 shares during the last quarter. 68.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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).
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