First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) shares saw unusually-high trading volume on Friday . Approximately 103,057 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 15% from the previous session’s volume of 89,428 shares.The stock last traded at $27.17 and had previously closed at $27.08.

FRME has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. DA Davidson started coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $29.00 price objective for the company. Piper Jaffray Cos. started coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a research note on Monday, July 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 target price for the company. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their target price on First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $27.90.

The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $26.01 and a 200 day moving average price of $24.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion and a P/E ratio of 15.56.

First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.03. Equities research analysts forecast that First Merchants Corp. will post $1.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st.

Several hedge funds recently bought and sold shares of the company. Piermont Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in First Merchants Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $1,514,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in First Merchants Corp. by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,032,365 shares of the company’s stock worth $77,084,000 after buying an additional 15,264 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in First Merchants Corp. by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 73,247 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,863,000 after buying an additional 2,781 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in First Merchants Corp. by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 52,936 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,346,000 after buying an additional 1,375 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in First Merchants Corp. by 60.3% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 53,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,369,000 after buying an additional 20,267 shares in the last quarter.

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding Company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank, National Association (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, Ameriana Bank, Ameriana Financial Services and First Merchants Trust Company as divisions of First Merchants Bank, N.A.

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