Media headlines about First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) have been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm rates the sentiment of news coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. First Merchants Corporation earned a media sentiment score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media coverage about the bank an impact score of 46.3969362302707 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near future.
Several research analysts have issued reports on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub lowered First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. First Merchants Corporation currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.00.
Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) traded up 0.41% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $38.75. The stock had a trading volume of 865,354 shares. The firm has a market cap of $1.90 billion, a PE ratio of 17.69 and a beta of 0.94. First Merchants Corporation has a 52 week low of $25.84 and a 52 week high of $43.48. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $39.17 and a 200 day moving average price of $39.88.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 analysts’ expectations of $78.75 million. Equities research analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.86%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.88%.
In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total transaction of $73,466.19. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 75,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders have bought a total of 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,617 in the last three months. 1.41% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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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