First Merchants (FRME) Upgraded at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Sunday.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a buy rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $47.33.

Shares of First Merchants (FRME) opened at $41.90 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,066.95, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.22, a P/E/G ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.91. First Merchants has a 12 month low of $35.26 and a 12 month high of $45.42.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. analysts anticipate that First Merchants will post 2.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 33.03%.

In related news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total transaction of $183,265.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke bought 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction of $87,360.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 33,543 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,465,158.24. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders bought 5,200 shares of company stock valued at $223,978. Company insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in First Merchants by 1.6% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 129,912 shares of the bank’s stock worth $5,577,000 after acquiring an additional 2,033 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in First Merchants in the third quarter valued at approximately $1,434,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in First Merchants in the third quarter valued at approximately $474,000. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in First Merchants in the third quarter valued at approximately $1,165,000. Finally, OxFORD Asset Management LLP acquired a new stake in First Merchants in the third quarter valued at approximately $1,063,000. 69.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This article was reported by Chaffey Breeze and is the sole property of of Chaffey Breeze. If you are accessing this article on another publication, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States & international copyright & trademark laws. The original version of this article can be read at https://www.chaffeybreeze.com/2018/01/03/first-merchants-frme-upgraded-at-valuengine.html.

About First Merchants

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).

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Receive News & Ratings for First Merchants Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Merchants and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Latest News

Leave a Reply