Envestnet Asset Management Inc. cut its stake in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 23.6% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 28,607 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 8,827 shares during the quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. owned approximately 0.06% of First Merchants worth $1,084,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Strs Ohio acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants during the 1st quarter worth approximately $25,000. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $125,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 106.4% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,953 shares of the bank’s stock worth $146,000 after buying an additional 2,038 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in shares of First Merchants by 38.7% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock worth $151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the first quarter worth approximately $151,000. 73.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 7,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total value of $277,254.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders acquired a total of 103 shares of company stock worth $3,800 in the last ninety days. 1.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several analysts recently commented on the company. ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Stephens upgraded First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Hovde Group began coverage on First Merchants in a report on Wednesday, May 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 target price for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.33.
FRME traded up $0.55 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $39.10. 198,210 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 176,442. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $36.68 and its two-hundred day moving average is $37.18. First Merchants Co. has a 1-year low of $32.49 and a 1-year high of $49.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The company has a market cap of $1.89 billion, a PE ratio of 12.14, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.06.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $106.89 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $109.10 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.36% and a net margin of 31.66%. As a group, research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Co. will post 3.22 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be given a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.30%.
About First Merchants
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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