The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 1.2% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,023,718 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 12,140 shares during the quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company owned 2.07% of First Merchants worth $42,689,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. UBS Group AG increased its position in First Merchants by 55.2% during the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 14,243 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $594,000 after acquiring an additional 5,063 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its position in First Merchants by 23.8% during the first quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 363,465 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $15,157,000 after acquiring an additional 69,806 shares during the last quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT increased its position in First Merchants by 16.9% during the first quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT now owns 1,273,693 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $53,113,000 after acquiring an additional 183,856 shares during the last quarter. FCG Advisors LLC increased its position in First Merchants by 7.4% during the first quarter. FCG Advisors LLC now owns 88,094 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,674,000 after acquiring an additional 6,093 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Maltese Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in First Merchants during the first quarter valued at $2,506,000. 68.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

FRME traded up $0.13 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $47.01. The company had a trading volume of 1,194 shares, compared to its average volume of 133,218. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The stock has a market cap of $2.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.45, a PEG ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.91. First Merchants Co. has a 1 year low of $37.09 and a 1 year high of $49.19.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The bank reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $99.48 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $98.35 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.82% and a net margin of 26.33%. equities analysts anticipate that First Merchants Co. will post 3.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 1st were given a $0.22 dividend. This is a boost from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 31st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.87%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.51%.

In other First Merchants news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.91, for a total value of $197,595.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Michele Kawiecki sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.42, for a total value of $26,652.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders acquired 61 shares of company stock valued at $2,657. Company insiders own 1.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently commented on FRME shares. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. BidaskClub cut First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.33.

First Merchants Profile

First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. It accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, and real estate mortgage loans, as well as rents safe deposit facilities.

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

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