First Merchants Co. (FRME) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest

First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest during the month of January. As of January 12th, there was short interest totalling 541,519 shares, a drop of 23.8% from the December 29th total of 710,694 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 239,401 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In other First Merchants news, Director Michael C. Marhenke purchased 2,000 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $43.68 per share, with a total value of $87,360.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 33,543 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,465,158.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total transaction of $183,265.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 5,200 shares of company stock valued at $223,978 over the last ninety days. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FRME. Boston Partners acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $21,120,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 7.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,666,493 shares of the bank’s stock worth $147,175,000 after purchasing an additional 263,813 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $242,000. First Merchants Corp grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 624.9% during the 3rd quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 199,976 shares of the bank’s stock worth $8,585,000 after purchasing an additional 172,389 shares during the period. Finally, Park National Corp OH grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1,998.0% during the 3rd quarter. Park National Corp OH now owns 155,969 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,696,000 after purchasing an additional 148,535 shares during the period. 69.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

FRME has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. ValuEngine raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.00.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at $43.93 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $2,190.00, a P/E ratio of 20.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.91. First Merchants has a 1 year low of $36.73 and a 1 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.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.61. The business had revenue of $97.83 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $98.30 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 24.90% and a return on equity of 9.95%. equities analysts predict that First Merchants will post 2.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: “First Merchants Co. (FRME) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest” was originally posted by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are accessing this piece of content on another site, it was copied illegally and republished in violation of United States & international copyright laws. The legal version of this piece of content can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/29/first-merchants-co-frme-sees-large-drop-in-short-interest.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).

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.

Leave a Reply