First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) Receives $28.13 Consensus Price Target from Brokerages
First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the six research firms that are currently covering the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $28.13.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on FRME. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their price target on First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. DA Davidson lifted their price target on First Merchants Corp. from $29.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. began coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a research report on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 price target for the company.
Shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at 26.96 on Wednesday. First Merchants Corp. has a one year low of $21.10 and a one year high of $27.60. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $26.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.57. The company has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a PE ratio of 15.46 and a beta of 1.05.
First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.03. First Merchants Corp. had a return on equity of 8.18% and a net margin of 22.88%. Equities analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corp. will post $1.90 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.08%. First Merchants Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 32.18%.
In other First Merchants Corp. news, insider John Martin sold 5,000 shares of First Merchants Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.92, for a total value of $134,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 31,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $859,313.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 3,500 shares of First Merchants Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.24, for a total value of $95,340.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.62% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FRME. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 77.4% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 2,426 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 8.6% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,953 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 470 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 344.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,076 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after buying an additional 8,585 shares during the period. 1st Global Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 12,294 shares of the company’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the period. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp bought a new position in shares of First Merchants Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $312,000. 75.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
First Merchants Corp. Company Profile
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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