Vanguard Group Inc. Increases Stake in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEFree Report) by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 6,539,413 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 84,858 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned about 11.01% of First Merchants worth $181,926,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 7.0% during the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 5,337 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $221,000 after buying an additional 349 shares during the last quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers lifted its stake in shares of First Merchants by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 7,112 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $296,000 after acquiring an additional 356 shares during the last quarter. State of Wyoming boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 35.0% during the 2nd quarter. State of Wyoming now owns 1,454 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $41,000 after acquiring an additional 377 shares during the period. Assetmark Inc. grew its position in First Merchants by 16.0% during the 3rd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,806 shares of the bank’s stock worth $78,000 after acquiring an additional 387 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in First Merchants by 9.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,886 shares of the bank’s stock worth $138,000 after purchasing an additional 441 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.92% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Raymond James raised their target price on shares of First Merchants from $33.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. TheStreet raised shares of First Merchants from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th.

View Our Latest Report on First Merchants

First Merchants Trading Up 0.5 %

NASDAQ FRME opened at $34.90 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $2.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.33 and a beta of 1.07. First Merchants Co. has a fifty-two week low of $24.52 and a fifty-two week high of $38.16. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $34.05 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $32.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 0.86 and a current ratio of 0.86.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87. The company had revenue of $156.51 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $158.50 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 10.97% and a net margin of 22.39%. On average, analysts forecast that First Merchants Co. will post 3.37 earnings per share for the current year.

First Merchants Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were paid a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 29th. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 36.36%.

Insider Activity at First Merchants

In other First Merchants news, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 3,193 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.17, for a total value of $105,911.81. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 24,070 shares in the company, valued at $798,401.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 1.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

First Merchants 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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