First Merchants (FRME) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Piper Jaffray Companies

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)‘s stock had its “hold” rating restated by research analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies in a report released on Sunday. They presently have a $48.00 price objective on the bank’s stock. Piper Jaffray Companies’ price target suggests a potential upside of 9.89% from the company’s current price.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on FRME. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, October 29th. ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.67.

First Merchants (NASDAQ FRME) traded down $0.25 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $43.68. The company had a trading volume of 39,495 shares, compared to its average volume of 185,063. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93. The company has a market capitalization of $2,159.52, a P/E ratio of 20.62, a P/E/G ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.91. First Merchants has a 12-month low of $36.73 and a 12-month high of $45.42.

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

In other First Merchants news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total value of $183,265.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke bought 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was bought at an average price of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction of $87,360.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 33,543 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,465,158.24. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 5,200 shares of company stock worth $223,978 in the last quarter. 1.41% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in First Merchants in the fourth quarter valued at about $1,645,000. Atlas Brown Inc. purchased a new position in First Merchants in the fourth quarter valued at about $583,000. Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its stake in First Merchants by 9.7% in the fourth quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 81,315 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,420,000 after purchasing an additional 7,158 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in First Merchants by 7.0% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 199,772 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $8,403,000 after purchasing an additional 13,096 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its stake in First Merchants by 1.6% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 129,912 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,577,000 after purchasing an additional 2,033 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 69.62% of the company’s stock.

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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).

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