First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) – Research analysts at DA Davidson dropped their FY2020 EPS estimates for First Merchants in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, June 18th, according to Zacks Investment Research. DA Davidson analyst K. Reevey now anticipates that the bank will post earnings of $3.68 per share for the year, down from their prior forecast of $3.72.
Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, April 13th. Raymond James started coverage on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Monday, April 8th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Hovde Group started coverage on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. They set a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 target price for the company. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $44.00 target price on shares of First Merchants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $43.20.
FRME opened at $38.23 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.88 billion, a PE ratio of 11.87, a PEG ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a fifty day moving average of $35.69. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33. First Merchants has a 12-month low of $32.49 and a 12-month high of $50.44.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.80 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $103.58 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $107.28 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 32.34% and a return on equity of 11.59%.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 21st. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th were paid a dividend of $0.26 per share. This is a positive change from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 17th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.72%. First Merchants’s payout ratio is presently 32.30%.
In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total transaction of $169,696.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In the last quarter, insiders have acquired 76 shares of company stock valued at $2,656. 1.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Brown Advisory Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 42,216 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,447,000 after acquiring an additional 472 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 13,675 shares of the bank’s stock worth $469,000 after acquiring an additional 533 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the first quarter worth about $25,000. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 8.5% during the first quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 10,209 shares of the bank’s stock worth $376,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Resources Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth about $29,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.40% of the company’s stock.
First Merchants Company Profile
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.