Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. held its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 9,843 shares of the bank’s stock at the end of the first quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc.’s holdings in First Merchants Corporation were worth $387,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its position in First Merchants Corporation by 45.5% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 60,514 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,379,000 after buying an additional 18,924 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its position in First Merchants Corporation by 43.5% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 177,858 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,993,000 after buying an additional 53,910 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in First Merchants Corporation by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 91,705 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,453,000 after buying an additional 8,514 shares during the period. Biegel & Waller LLC acquired a new position in First Merchants Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $221,000. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in First Merchants Corporation by 57.4% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 170,582 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,423,000 after buying an additional 62,200 shares during the period. 78.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 40.76 on Friday. First Merchants Corporation has a 1-year low of $23.54 and a 1-year high of $43.48. The firm has a market cap of $1.67 billion, a PE ratio of 19.32 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $40.97 and a 200 day moving average price of $39.11.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The bank reported $0.56 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.04. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 26.67% and a return on equity of 9.57%. The business had revenue of $75.85 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $76.65 million. On average, equities research analysts forecast that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.27 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 16th. Investors of record on Friday, June 2nd were paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.77%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 31st. This is a boost from First Merchants Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.12%.
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Several research analysts recently commented on FRME shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, April 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $36.50.
In related news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total value of $51,648.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 1,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.60, for a total transaction of $69,480.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders purchased 94 shares of company stock valued at $3,832. 1.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
About First Merchants Corporation
First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).
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