QS Investors LLC decreased its position in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 1.9% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 139,947 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 2,761 shares during the quarter. QS Investors LLC’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $5,886,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of FRME. Boston Partners bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the 3rd quarter worth $21,120,000. Swiss National Bank grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 15.0% during the 3rd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 78,262 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,360,000 after acquiring an additional 10,200 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 23.4% during the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 6,947 shares of the bank’s stock worth $298,000 after acquiring an additional 1,317 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 164.7% during the 3rd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 163,940 shares of the bank’s stock worth $7,038,000 after acquiring an additional 102,001 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services Inc bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the 3rd quarter worth $472,000. Institutional investors own 70.10% of the company’s stock.
In related news, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 2,219 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.60, for a total transaction of $94,529.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 55,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,373,075.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Terry L. Walker acquired 3,176 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $42.69 per share, for a total transaction of $135,583.44. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 3,227 shares of company stock worth $137,744 in the last three months. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on FRME. BidaskClub upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Thursday, January 25th. FIG Partners reissued a “market-perform” rating on shares of First Merchants in a report on Monday, January 29th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a report on Sunday, January 28th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.67.
Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ FRME) opened at $43.85 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,192.18, a PE ratio of 20.68, a P/E/G ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. First Merchants Co. has a 1-year low of $36.73 and a 1-year high of $45.42.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.61 earnings per share (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 return on equity of 9.47% and a net margin of 24.90%. analysts expect that First Merchants Co. will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Investors of record on Friday, March 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 1st. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.96%.
COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: “QS Investors LLC Cuts Stake in First Merchants Co. (FRME)” was reported by Dispatch Tribunal and is the property of of Dispatch Tribunal. If you are viewing this report on another site, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of US and international copyright & trademark laws. The legal version of this report can be viewed at https://www.dispatchtribunal.com/2018/03/14/qs-investors-llc-cuts-stake-in-first-merchants-co-frme.html.
First Merchants 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).
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding FRME? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME).
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.