Wall Street brokerages forecast that First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) will post $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have made estimates for First Merchants Corporation’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.53 and the highest is $0.57. First Merchants Corporation reported earnings per share of $0.51 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 7.8%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, October 24th.
On average, analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will report full year earnings of $2.28 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.24 to $2.32. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $2.60 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.50 to $2.72. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover First Merchants Corporation.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 9.63% and a net margin of 27.04%. The company had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million.
Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub cut First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine raised First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $39.00.
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Shares of First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded up 1.157% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $38.025. The stock had a trading volume of 434,268 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $39.34 and a 200 day moving average of $39.96. The firm has a market cap of $1.87 billion, a PE ratio of 17.363 and a beta of 0.94. First Merchants Corporation has a 12-month low of $25.84 and a 12-month high of $43.48.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.92%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.88%.
In other news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total value of $51,648.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders bought 66 shares of company stock worth $2,617. Corporate insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 26.4% in the second quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 7,211 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $290,000 after purchasing an additional 1,506 shares in the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the second quarter valued at about $242,000. Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the second quarter valued at about $324,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 43.5% in the second quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 61,960 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,487,000 after purchasing an additional 18,770 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dean Capital Management bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the second quarter valued at about $4,181,000. Institutional investors own 67.45% of the company’s stock.
First Merchants Corporation Company Profile
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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