First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) was upgraded by BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on FRME. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, October 30th. ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, January 28th. Finally, FIG Partners reaffirmed a “market-perform” rating on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $49.67.

First Merchants (FRME) opened at $41.67 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,124.62, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.66, a PEG ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. First Merchants has a one year low of $36.73 and a one year high of $45.42.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.61. The business had revenue of $97.83 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $98.30 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.95% and a net margin of 24.90%. research analysts forecast that First Merchants will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Terry L. Walker bought 3,176 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $42.69 per share, with a total value of $135,583.44. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total transaction of $220,798.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 5,199 shares of company stock valued at $223,938 in the last three months. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Amalgamated Bank raised its stake in First Merchants by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 5,181 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $208,000 after purchasing an additional 58 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 6,610 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $265,000 after acquiring an additional 101 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 8.3% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 228 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 23.4% during the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 6,947 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $298,000 after acquiring an additional 1,317 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd increased its stake in shares of First Merchants by 26.4% during the 2nd quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 7,211 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $290,000 after acquiring an additional 1,506 shares during the last quarter. 68.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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