First Merchants (FRME) Receiving Somewhat Favorable News Coverage, Study Finds

News articles about First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) have been trending somewhat positive on Sunday, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm rates the sentiment of news coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. First Merchants earned a media sentiment score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media headlines about the bank an impact score of 46.0545283442797 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near term.

Shares of First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at $42.58 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $2,090.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 0.90. First Merchants has a twelve month low of $35.26 and a twelve month high of $45.42. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. sell-side analysts anticipate that First Merchants will post 2.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.69%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.03%.

Several analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of First Merchants in a report on Friday, October 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.33.

In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total transaction of $183,265.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total transaction of $220,798.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have acquired 2,036 shares of company stock worth $88,908 over the last three months. 1.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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About First Merchants

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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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