Wells Fargo & Company MN lowered its stake in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 2.5% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 263,755 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 6,792 shares during the quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned approximately 0.49% of First Merchants worth $6,987,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the business. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of First Merchants by 2.0% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,018,305 shares of the bank’s stock worth $42,351,000 after purchasing an additional 20,003 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in First Merchants by 23.3% in the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 919,788 shares of the bank’s stock worth $38,254,000 after purchasing an additional 173,608 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 48.7% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 884,611 shares of the bank’s stock worth $36,791,000 after acquiring an additional 289,760 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in First Merchants by 7.3% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 814,025 shares of the bank’s stock worth $21,563,000 after purchasing an additional 55,679 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new stake in First Merchants during the 4th quarter worth about $22,233,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.78% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms recently weighed in on FRME. Raymond James downgraded shares of First Merchants from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 17th. TheStreet lowered shares of First Merchants from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, March 6th. Piper Sandler cut their price target on First Merchants from $32.00 to $30.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, Stephens cut shares of First Merchants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $34.33.
Shares of FRME opened at $26.98 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $26.76 and a 200 day simple moving average of $32.79. First Merchants Co. has a 52-week low of $21.18 and a 52-week high of $42.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.46 billion, a PE ratio of 8.82 and a beta of 1.16.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 23rd. The bank reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $123.68 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $120.83 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 27.85% and a return on equity of 9.50%. Equities research analysts predict that First Merchants Co. will post 2.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 19th. Investors of record on Friday, June 5th were given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 4th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.85%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 30.06%.
About First Merchants
First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. It accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, and real estate mortgage loans, as well as rents safe deposit facilities.
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