Schroder Investment Management Group grew its holdings in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 10.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 326,662 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 31,617 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group owned approximately 0.66% of First Merchants worth $13,968,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 12,013 shares of the bank’s stock worth $482,000 after buying an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew 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 buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 5,181 shares of the bank’s stock worth $208,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 6,610 shares of the bank’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 101 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. grew 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 buying an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. 69.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of First Merchants 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were bought 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 in the company, valued at $1,465,158.24. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 2,036 shares of company stock valued at $88,908 in the last quarter. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
FRME has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated 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 assigned a hold rating and two have assigned 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.
Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at $42.92 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $2,058.59, a PE ratio of 18.29, a PEG ratio of 2.61 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 twelve month low of $35.26 and a twelve month high of $45.42.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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%. research 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 was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.68%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.03%.
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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).
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