US Bancorp DE Acquires 791 Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

US Bancorp DE boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEFree Report) by 5.1% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 16,405 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 791 shares during the quarter. US Bancorp DE’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $608,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Denali Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 92.8% during the 4th quarter. Denali Advisors LLC now owns 106,800 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,960,000 after acquiring an additional 51,400 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund lifted its position in First Merchants by 28.6% during the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 97,357 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,610,000 after purchasing an additional 21,632 shares in the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. bought a new stake in First Merchants during the fourth quarter valued at about $877,000. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust increased its position in First Merchants by 27.6% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 1,524 shares of the bank’s stock worth $57,000 after buying an additional 330 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of First Merchants in the fourth quarter worth about $14,400,000. 73.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. StockNews.com upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Piper Sandler upped their price target on shares of First Merchants from $41.00 to $42.50 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 29th.

View Our Latest Report on First Merchants

First Merchants Price Performance

NASDAQ:FRME opened at $32.30 on Friday. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $33.97 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $34.23. First Merchants Co. has a 52 week low of $25.70 and a 52 week high of $38.16. The stock has a market cap of $1.89 billion, a PE ratio of 9.31 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a quick ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.03. First Merchants had a return on equity of 10.21% and a net margin of 20.15%. The company had revenue of $153.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $154.95 million. As a group, analysts forecast that First Merchants Co. will post 3.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

First Merchants Increases Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 21st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 7th will be issued a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.33%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 7th. This is an increase from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 39.19%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other First Merchants news, Director Patrick J. Fehring sold 23,936 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.51, for a total value of $778,159.36. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 122,706 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,989,172.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

About First Merchants

(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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