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.
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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