Analysts expect First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) to post $107.40 million in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three analysts have provided estimates for First Merchants’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $106.51 million to $109.10 million. First Merchants reported sales of $97.83 million in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 9.8%. The company is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Thursday, January 24th.

On average, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full-year sales of $415.57 million for the current year, with estimates ranging from $410.70 million to $421.20 million. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will post sales of $495.80 million, with estimates ranging from $485.90 million to $503.00 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.03. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.16% and a net margin of 30.43%. The company had revenue of $106.01 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $104.90 million.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, July 30th. BidaskClub raised First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $47.00 target price on First Merchants and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. ValuEngine downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, Stephens downgraded First Merchants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.75.

NASDAQ:FRME traded up $0.29 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $41.05. 109,099 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 155,674. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. First Merchants has a 52 week low of $39.24 and a 52 week high of $50.44. The company has a market cap of $2.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.03, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.85.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 21st. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 6th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.51%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Rhumbline Advisers raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 15.4% during the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 60,729 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,818,000 after purchasing an additional 8,084 shares during the period. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $227,000. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $213,000. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 1,828,622 shares of the bank’s stock worth $84,848,000 after purchasing an additional 14,275 shares during the period. Finally, Amalgamated Bank raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 24.5% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 6,714 shares of the bank’s stock worth $312,000 after purchasing an additional 1,322 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.28% of the company’s stock.

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

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