Wall Street analysts forecast that First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) will announce sales of $98.30 million for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for First Merchants’ earnings. The highest sales estimate is $99.90 million and the lowest is $96.70 million. First Merchants reported sales of $74.49 million in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 32%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, January 25th.

On average, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full-year sales of $98.30 million for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $343.90 million to $363.20 million. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $403.15 million per share, with estimates ranging from $396.50 million to $409.80 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. The firm had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $97.45 million.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, October 6th. 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 stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.33.

Shares of First Merchants (NASDAQ FRME) opened at $42.92 on Friday. First Merchants has a one year low of $35.26 and a one year high of $45.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,058.59, a PE ratio of 18.29, a PEG ratio of 2.61 and a beta of 0.90.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 33.03%.

In related news, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total value of $220,798.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction 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 disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 2,036 shares of company stock worth $88,908 over the last three months. 1.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 129,912 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,577,000 after acquiring an additional 2,033 shares in the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,434,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $474,000. Private Advisor Group LLC bought a new position in First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,165,000. Finally, OxFORD Asset Management LLP bought a new position in First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,063,000. 69.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: “$98.30 Million in Sales Expected for First Merchants Corporation (FRME) This Quarter” was reported by American Banking News and is the sole property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this article on another site, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of international copyright & trademark law. The correct version of this article can be accessed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/12/16/98-30-million-in-sales-expected-for-first-merchants-corporation-frme-this-quarter-2.html.

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).

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on First Merchants (FRME)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

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

Receive News & Ratings for First Merchants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Merchants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.