Citadel Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 325.6% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 48,441 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 37,059 shares during the quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC owned approximately 0.10% of First Merchants worth $2,079,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisor Group Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 8.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 228 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 2,048.6% in the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 3,790 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $172,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 17.6% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,155 shares of the bank’s stock worth $207,000 after buying an additional 771 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.80% of the company’s stock.
A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on FRME. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Friday, October 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. equities research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.29 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders 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 1.63%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s payout ratio is presently 33.03%.
In other news, Director Michael C. Marhenke bought 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was bought at an average price of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction of $87,360.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 33,543 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,465,158.24. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total value of $220,798.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders bought 2,024 shares of company stock valued at $88,391. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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First Merchants 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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