First Merchants Co. Announces Quarterly Dividend of $0.22 (FRME)

First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, November 8th, Wall Street Journal reports. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 7th will be given a dividend of 0.22 per share by the bank on Friday, December 21st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 6th.

First Merchants has raised its dividend payment by an average of 33.5% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 6 consecutive years. First Merchants has a dividend payout ratio of 27.8% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities analysts expect First Merchants to earn $3.40 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.88 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 25.9%.

FRME opened at $41.98 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. The company has a market cap of $2.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.42, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.85. First Merchants has a 52-week low of $37.60 and a 52-week high of $50.44.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $106.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $104.90 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 30.43% and a return on equity of 11.24%. Equities research analysts predict that First Merchants will post 3.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other First Merchants news, President Michael C. Rechin sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.63, for a total transaction of $729,450.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke sold 26,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.14, for a total transaction of $1,277,640.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 30,294 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,488,647.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have acquired 86 shares of company stock valued at $3,849. 1.41% of the stock is owned by insiders.

FRME has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 1st. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 25th. ValuEngine lowered shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.33.

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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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Dividend History for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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