Equities research analysts expect First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) to report sales of $97.45 million for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for First Merchants Corporation’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $101.80 million and the lowest estimate coming in at $93.10 million. First Merchants Corporation posted sales of $74.54 million in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 30.7%. The business is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will report full year sales of $97.45 million for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $344.80 million to $370.50 million. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post sales of $408.85 million per share, with estimates ranging from $397.40 million to $420.30 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for First Merchants Corporation.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $81.53 million during 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 9.63%.

FRME has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 31st. BidaskClub cut shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. First Merchants Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $39.00.

In other First Merchants Corporation news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Over the last quarter, insiders acquired 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,617. Corporate insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FRME. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 43.5% during the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 177,858 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,993,000 after purchasing an additional 53,910 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 12.5% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 313,680 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,333,000 after purchasing an additional 34,732 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 181.9% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 261,646 shares of the bank’s stock worth $10,287,000 after purchasing an additional 168,830 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 122.5% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 595,009 shares of the bank’s stock worth $23,395,000 after purchasing an additional 327,556 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 116.1% during the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 14,264 shares of the bank’s stock worth $561,000 after purchasing an additional 7,664 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.45% of the company’s stock.

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First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at 39.04 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $1.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.83 and a beta of 0.94. First Merchants Corporation has a 52-week low of $25.84 and a 52-week high of $43.48. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $39.31 and a 200-day moving average of $39.93.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.84%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. First Merchants Corporation’s payout ratio is 32.88%.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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