Schechter Investment Advisors LLC Invests $216,000 in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Schechter Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEFree Report) during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor bought 5,823 shares of the bank’s stock, valued at approximately $216,000.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of FRME. Raymond James & Associates lifted its position in First Merchants by 162.4% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 23,798 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $990,000 after purchasing an additional 14,728 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 2.0% in the first quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 26,461 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,101,000 after purchasing an additional 519 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 22.6% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 12,439 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $517,000 after purchasing an additional 2,294 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 7.0% in the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 5,337 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $221,000 after purchasing an additional 349 shares during the period. Finally, D.A. Davidson & CO. acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the first quarter valued at approximately $308,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.92% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Price Performance

NASDAQ FRME opened at $34.90 on Friday. First Merchants Co. has a 12 month low of $24.52 and a 12 month high of $38.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.86 and a quick ratio of 0.86. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion, a PE ratio of 9.33 and a beta of 1.07. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $34.05 and its 200 day simple moving average is $32.31.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87. First Merchants had a net margin of 22.39% and a return on equity of 10.97%. The business had revenue of $156.51 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $158.50 million. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that First Merchants Co. will post 3.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

First Merchants Announces Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st were given a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 29th. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.90%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 36.36%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

FRME has been the topic of several analyst reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Raymond James raised their price target on shares of First Merchants from $33.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th.

Get Our Latest Stock Analysis on FRME

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other First Merchants news, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 3,193 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.17, for a total value of $105,911.81. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 24,070 shares in the company, valued at $798,401.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. 1.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

First Merchants Company Profile

(Free Report)

First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. The company offers a range of financial services, including time, savings, and demand deposits; and consumer, commercial, agri-business, public finance, and real estate mortgage loans.

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

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