First Merchants Co. (FRME) Raises Dividend to $0.26 Per Share
First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, May 10th, Wall Street Journal reports. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be paid a dividend of 0.26 per share by the bank on Friday, June 21st. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22.
First Merchants has raised its dividend by an average of 40.9% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 7 years. First Merchants has a dividend payout ratio of 32.9% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect First Merchants to earn $3.63 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.04 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 28.7%.
Shares of NASDAQ FRME opened at $35.70 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $1.76 billion, a PE ratio of 11.09, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.94. First Merchants has a 12 month low of $32.49 and a 12 month high of $50.44. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.
A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, March 11th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Raymond James assumed coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Monday, April 8th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 price target for the company. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $44.00 target price on shares of First Merchants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.25.
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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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