Brokerages expect First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) to announce sales of $98.35 million for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have made estimates for First Merchants’ earnings. The highest sales estimate is $101.50 million and the lowest is $95.20 million. First Merchants reported sales of $75.85 million during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 29.7%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th.
On average, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full year sales of $407.40 million for the current year, with estimates ranging from $398.80 million to $416.00 million. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report sales of $438.55 million per share, with estimates ranging from $424.40 million to $452.70 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for First Merchants.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61. First Merchants had a net margin of 24.90% and a return on equity of 9.47%. The company had revenue of $97.83 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $98.30 million.
Several brokerages have recently commented on FRME. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 12th. BidaskClub raised shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Piper Jaffray reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, January 28th. FIG Partners reaffirmed a “market-perform” rating on shares of First Merchants in a report on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Thursday, January 25th. 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 company’s stock. First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.67.
In related news, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 2,219 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.60, for a total transaction of $94,529.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 55,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,373,075.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Over the last ninety days, insiders have purchased 63 shares of company stock valued at $2,661. 1.29% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 1,533.9% in the 4th quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT now owns 1,089,837 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $45,838,000 after purchasing an additional 1,023,137 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 21.1% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 944,229 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $39,714,000 after purchasing an additional 164,389 shares during the period. Boston Partners boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 9.2% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 536,990 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $22,585,000 after purchasing an additional 45,031 shares during the period. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 130.9% in the 4th quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 393,935 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $16,569,000 after purchasing an additional 223,293 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 6.0% in the 4th quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 346,394 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $14,569,000 after purchasing an additional 19,732 shares during the period. 70.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of FRME traded down $0.40 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $42.14. 110,287 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 153,414. First Merchants has a twelve month low of $37.09 and a twelve month high of $45.42. The firm has a market cap of $2,074.79, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.
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First Merchants Company Profile
First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. It accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, and real estate mortgage loans, as well as rents safe deposit facilities.
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