First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) Director Michael C. Marhenke purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $43.68 per share, with a total value of $87,360.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 33,543 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,465,158.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website.

First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded up $1.01 on Thursday, reaching $43.67. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 232,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 194,344. The stock has a market cap of $2,096.43, a P/E ratio of 18.63, a P/E/G ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 0.92. First Merchants Corporation has a one year low of $33.87 and a one year high of $44.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. equities analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.29 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.65%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.03%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FRME. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 3.4% in the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 94,852 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,730,000 after acquiring an additional 3,147 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 50.3% in the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,981 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $589,000 after acquiring an additional 5,013 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in First Merchants by 5.4% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,787,054 shares of the bank’s stock worth $70,268,000 after buying an additional 91,051 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in First Merchants by 13.7% during the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 175,037 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,883,000 after buying an additional 21,156 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in First Merchants by 4.0% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 789,163 shares of the bank’s stock worth $31,028,000 after buying an additional 30,704 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.88% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have commented on FRME. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.

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First Merchants Company Profile

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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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