First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) Director Michael C. Marhenke purchased 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction of $87,360.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 33,543 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,465,158.24. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded up $0.14 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $43.94. The stock had a trading volume of 345,373 shares, compared to its average volume of 158,599. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,152.45, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.90. First Merchants Corporation has a 12-month low of $34.36 and a 12-month high of $44.57.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. analysts forecast that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.29 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.03%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on FRME shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of First Merchants by 8.3% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 228 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. lifted its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.7% in the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 50 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP lifted its stake in shares of First Merchants by 2,048.6% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after acquiring an additional 3,790 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the third quarter worth approximately $172,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of First Merchants by 17.6% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,155 shares of the bank’s stock worth $207,000 after acquiring an additional 771 shares during the period. 69.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About First Merchants

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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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