Insider Selling: First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) CEO Sells 10,000 Shares of Stock

First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) CEO Michael C. Rechin sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.40, for a total value of $254,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

FRME traded down $0.47 on Friday, hitting $24.90. 2,731 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 188,953. The firm has a market cap of $1.38 billion, a PE ratio of 8.37 and a beta of 1.19. First Merchants Co. has a twelve month low of $21.18 and a twelve month high of $42.48. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $25.99 and a two-hundred day moving average of $35.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 23rd. The bank reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $123.68 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.83 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 27.85% and a return on equity of 9.50%. On average, analysts predict that First Merchants Co. will post 2.19 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 19th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 5th will be given a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 4th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.18%. First Merchants’s payout ratio is presently 30.06%.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in First Merchants by 5.7% in the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 168,710 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,217,000 after purchasing an additional 9,071 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in First Merchants during the 1st quarter valued at about $151,000. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 5.3% during the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,526,296 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $57,442,000 after purchasing an additional 76,888 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 10,514.3% in the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 74,300 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,090,000 after acquiring an additional 73,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 48,300 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,009,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.12% of the company’s stock.

FRME has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Raymond James raised their price target on First Merchants from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 30th. TheStreet lowered First Merchants from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, March 6th. Stephens downgraded First Merchants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 9th. Finally, Piper Sandler dropped their price objective on First Merchants from $32.00 to $30.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, April 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. First Merchants presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $35.50.

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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Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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