First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) Getting Somewhat Positive News Coverage, Study Shows

News coverage about First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) has trended somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment reports. Accern identifies positive and negative media coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. First Merchants earned a media sentiment score of 0.12 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave headlines about the bank an impact score of 45.8693418696896 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

FRME has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.

First Merchants (NASDAQ FRME) traded up $0.11 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $42.80. The stock had a trading volume of 211,521 shares, compared to its average volume of 195,988. The stock has a market cap of $2,118.05, a PE ratio of 18.82, a PEG ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. First Merchants has a fifty-two week low of $35.26 and a fifty-two week high of $45.42.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 33.03%.

In other First Merchants news, Director Michael C. Marhenke bought 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price 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 $1,465,158.24. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the firm’s 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have purchased 2,036 shares of company stock worth $88,908. 1.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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About First Merchants

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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