Kennedy Capital Management Inc. cut its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 3.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 184,010 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 5,700 shares during the quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. owned approximately 0.43% of First Merchants Corporation worth $7,386,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in FRME. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth about $115,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 6.5% during the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,979 shares of the bank’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 183 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth about $138,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 5.7% during the first quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,538 shares of the bank’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invictus RG acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth about $196,000. 67.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, May 15th. ValuEngine raised First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.00.
In related news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total transaction of $51,648.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 75,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,981,512.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,617 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.
Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 37.59 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $39.35 and a 200 day moving average price of $39.98. First Merchants Corporation has a 12-month low of $25.84 and a 12-month high of $43.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.16 and a beta of 0.94.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. Equities analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.92%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.88%.
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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