Prudential Financial Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 60.1% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 112,192 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 169,230 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. owned about 0.26% of First Merchants Corporation worth $4,503,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 116.1% during the 1st 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 in the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 59,300 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,380,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,697,507 shares of the bank’s stock worth $66,746,000 after purchasing an additional 4,432 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 17,626.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,402,680 shares of the bank’s stock worth $133,795,000 after purchasing an additional 3,383,485 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invictus RG purchased a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the 1st quarter worth approximately $196,000. 67.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on FRME shares. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One 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’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.00.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 40.02 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $1.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.27 and a beta of 0.94. The company’s 50-day moving average is $39.17 and its 200-day moving average is $39.87. First Merchants Corporation has a 12 month low of $25.84 and a 12 month high of $43.48.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly 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 Corporation had a net margin of 27.04% and a return on equity of 9.63%. The business had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. On average, equities research analysts forecast that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.80%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.88%.

In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total transaction of $73,466.19. Following the sale, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders have bought 66 shares of company stock worth $2,617 in the last 90 days. 1.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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First Merchants Corporation 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).

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

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