Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its stake in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 10.7% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 326,662 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 31,617 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group owned 0.66% of First Merchants worth $13,968,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 8.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 2,048.6% in the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 3,790 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth $172,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 17.6% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,155 shares of the bank’s stock worth $207,000 after buying an additional 771 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.80% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Michael C. Marhenke acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $43.68 per share, with a total value of $87,360.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 33,543 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,465,158.24. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total transaction of $220,798.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 2,036 shares of company stock valued at $88,908 in the last ninety days. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of First Merchants in a report on Friday, October 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.33.
First Merchants Corporation (FRME) opened at $42.69 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $2,118.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.82, a P/E/G ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. First Merchants Corporation has a 1-year low of $35.26 and a 1-year high of $45.42.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.29 earnings per share 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 issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.03%.
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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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