Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. Purchases 7,108 Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its position in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating) by 19.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 44,294 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 7,108 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. owned approximately 0.07% of First Merchants worth $1,713,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Brinker Capital Investments LLC boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 34.3% in the second quarter. Brinker Capital Investments LLC now owns 9,493 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $338,000 after buying an additional 2,425 shares during the period. Spectrum Management Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the second quarter valued at approximately $56,000. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 12.0% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 96,883 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,451,000 after buying an additional 10,406 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 22.1% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 584,077 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $20,805,000 after buying an additional 105,700 shares during the period. Finally, MQS Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the second quarter valued at approximately $598,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.43% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on FRME shares. StockNews.com started coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Raymond James upped their price target on shares of First Merchants from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 24,523 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.25, for a total value of $1,085,142.75. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 32,020 shares in the company, valued at $1,416,885. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In other First Merchants news, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 3,174 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.29, for a total value of $140,576.46. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 22,576 shares in the company, valued at $999,891.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 24,523 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.25, for a total transaction of $1,085,142.75. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 32,020 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,416,885. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

First Merchants Stock Performance

Shares of FRME opened at $40.13 on Thursday. First Merchants Co. has a 12 month low of $34.07 and a 12 month high of $45.98. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $41.89 and a 200 day simple moving average of $41.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.43 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a current ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The bank reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.02. First Merchants had a net margin of 31.42% and a return on equity of 11.73%. The business had revenue of $169.92 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $167.80 million. Research analysts forecast that First Merchants Co. will post 4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

First Merchants Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 16th. Investors of record on Friday, December 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.19%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 1st. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 36.47%.

First Merchants Profile

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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 public finance. The company also offers personal and corporate trust; brokerage and private wealth management; and letters of credit, repurchase agreements, and other corporate services.

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

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