Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 3.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 94,852 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 3,147 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC’s holdings in First Merchants Corporation were worth $3,730,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in First Merchants Corporation by 141.9% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 350,903 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $13,798,000 after buying an additional 205,871 shares in the last quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter valued at $233,000. ClariVest Asset Management LLC increased its stake in First Merchants Corporation by 21.4% in the first quarter. ClariVest Asset Management LLC now owns 250,026 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $9,831,000 after buying an additional 44,155 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter valued at $224,000. Finally, Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter valued at $115,000. 67.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 39.80 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $40.11 and its 200 day moving average is $40.05. First Merchants Corporation has a 52-week low of $25.84 and a 52-week high of $43.48. The stock has a market cap of $1.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.17 and a beta of 0.92.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 27.04% and a return on equity of 9.96%. Analysts forecast that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, May 1st. BidaskClub raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.33.

In other news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total transaction of $51,648.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Over the last 90 days, insiders have bought 65 shares of company stock worth $2,616. Insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

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

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