Barclays PLC Raises Position in First Merchants Co. (FRME)

Barclays PLC boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 48.0% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 9,741 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 3,158 shares during the quarter. Barclays PLC’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $406,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in First Merchants by 1.2% during the first quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,023,718 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $42,689,000 after buying an additional 12,140 shares during the period. UBS Group AG increased its holdings in First Merchants by 55.2% during the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 14,243 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $594,000 after buying an additional 5,063 shares during the period. Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its holdings in First Merchants by 23.8% during the first quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 363,465 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $15,157,000 after buying an additional 69,806 shares during the period. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT increased its holdings in First Merchants by 16.9% during the first quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT now owns 1,273,693 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $53,113,000 after buying an additional 183,856 shares during the period. Finally, FCG Advisors LLC increased its holdings in First Merchants by 7.4% during the first quarter. FCG Advisors LLC now owns 88,094 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,674,000 after buying an additional 6,093 shares during the period. 69.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

FRME has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, May 18th. BidaskClub raised shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.33.

In other First Merchants news, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 1,047 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $50,256.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.91, for a total transaction of $197,595.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 6,147 shares of company stock valued at $274,503. 1.29% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Shares of FRME opened at $46.81 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.42, a PEG ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 0.93. First Merchants Co. has a twelve month low of $37.09 and a twelve month high of $49.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The bank reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $99.48 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $98.35 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 26.33% and a return on equity of 9.82%. equities analysts predict that First Merchants Co. will post 3.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 1st were paid a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.88%. This is an increase from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 31st. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 36.51%.

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

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