First Merchants Corporation (FRME) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “FIRST MERCHANTS CORP. is a bank holding company engaged in conducting commercial banking business through the offices of its banking subsidiaries. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants Corporation from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $47.33.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded down $0.04 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $43.00. The stock had a trading volume of 143,390 shares, compared to its average volume of 183,435. First Merchants Corporation has a twelve month low of $26.55 and a twelve month high of $44.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,115.01, a P/E ratio of 18.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.92.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $97.45 million. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 10.38% and a net margin of 26.28%. research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other First Merchants Corporation news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the sale, 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 accessible through this link. Insiders acquired a total of 66 shares of company stock worth $2,681 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 116.1% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 14,264 shares of the bank’s stock worth $561,000 after acquiring an additional 7,664 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL lifted its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 59,300 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,380,000 after acquiring an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 176,741 shares of the bank’s stock worth $7,095,000 after acquiring an additional 1,704 shares during the period. Menta Capital LLC lifted its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 16.7% in the 2nd quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 56,516 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,269,000 after acquiring an additional 8,079 shares during the period. Finally, Park National Corp OH lifted its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 1,998.0% in the 3rd quarter. Park National Corp OH now owns 155,969 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,696,000 after acquiring an additional 148,535 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 67.75% 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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