Wall Street brokerages forecast that First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) will report $97.45 million in sales for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have provided estimates for First Merchants Corporation’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $101.80 million and the lowest estimate coming in at $93.10 million. First Merchants Corporation reported sales of $74.54 million during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 30.7%. The company is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th.

On average, analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will report full-year sales of $97.45 million for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $344.80 million to $370.50 million. For the next year, analysts expect that the business will post sales of $408.85 million per share, with estimates ranging from $397.40 million to $420.30 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow First Merchants Corporation.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 9.96% and a net margin of 27.04%.

Several analysts have issued reports on FRME shares. BidaskClub cut First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, ValuEngine raised First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants Corporation currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.33.

In other First Merchants Corporation news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total transaction of $51,648.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders have acquired a total of 65 shares of company stock worth $2,616 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in FRME. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 91,705 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,453,000 after buying an additional 8,514 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 43.5% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 177,858 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,993,000 after buying an additional 53,910 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 45.5% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 60,514 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,379,000 after buying an additional 18,924 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 12.5% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 313,680 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $12,333,000 after buying an additional 34,732 shares during the period. Finally, First Merchants Corp boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 54.0% in the first quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 21,796 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $857,000 after buying an additional 7,642 shares during the period. 67.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About First Merchants Corporation

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).

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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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