First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) Upgraded to Hold by ValuEngine

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) was upgraded by equities research analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, ValuEngine reports.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Stephens raised shares of First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, Hovde Group initiated coverage on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 price target on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $43.33.

Shares of FRME traded up $1.15 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $39.26. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 195,216 shares, compared to its average volume of 209,384. First Merchants has a one year low of $32.49 and a one year high of $49.22. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $36.68 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $37.18. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 1.06.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $106.89 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $109.10 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.36% and a net margin of 31.66%. On average, research analysts predict that First Merchants will post 3.22 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total value of $169,696.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders bought a total of 103 shares of company stock valued at $3,800 over the last quarter. 1.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRME. Strs Ohio bought a new position in First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its holdings in First Merchants by 148.5% during the 2nd quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 656 shares of the bank’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 392 shares during the last quarter. Denali Advisors LLC bought a new stake in First Merchants during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $125,000. Bank of Montreal Can grew its holdings in First Merchants by 106.4% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,953 shares of the bank’s stock worth $146,000 after acquiring an additional 2,038 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in First Merchants by 38.7% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Company Profile

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.

Further Reading: Understanding Average Daily Trade Volume

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Analyst Recommendations for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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