Rothschild Asset Management Inc. lowered its stake in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 0.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 335,643 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 1,308 shares during the period. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. owned about 0.82% of First Merchants worth $13,473,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Biegel & Waller LLC raised its stake in First Merchants by 0.4% in the first quarter. Biegel & Waller LLC now owns 5,987 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in First Merchants by 6.5% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,979 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 183 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in First Merchants by 5.7% in the first quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,538 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. raised its stake in First Merchants by 4.0% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 24,372 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $958,000 after buying an additional 936 shares during the period. Finally, 1st Global Advisors Inc. raised its stake in First Merchants by 14.7% in the first quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 13,012 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $512,000 after buying an additional 1,667 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 67.56% of the company’s stock.

Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 40.20 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $40.35 and its 200 day moving average price is $39.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.36 and a beta of 0.92. First Merchants Co. has a 1-year low of $25.84 and a 1-year high of $43.48.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. First Merchants had a net margin of 29.60% and a return on equity of 9.75%. 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 Co. will post $2.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several research firms have commented on FRME. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. BidaskClub lowered First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. One research 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. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $39.33.

In other First Merchants news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total value of $51,648.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders acquired 65 shares of company stock valued at $2,616. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

First Merchants 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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