First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) Sees Significant Decrease in Short Interest

First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 755,000 shares, a drop of 7.9% from the August 15th total of 819,800 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 164,700 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.6 days.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of brokerages recently commented on FRME. Piper Sandler raised their price objective on shares of First Merchants to $46.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Raymond James upgraded shares of First Merchants from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Stephens raised their target price on shares of First Merchants to $50.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Allworth Financial LP grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 5,050.0% in the 1st quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 618 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 606 shares during the period. Assetmark Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 148.7% in the 2nd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 883 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 528 shares during the period. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at about $50,000. Ronald Blue Trust Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 2nd quarter valued at about $52,000. Finally, Spectrum Management Group LLC bought a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 2nd quarter valued at about $56,000. Institutional investors own 72.37% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Stock Up 2.5 %

First Merchants stock opened at $42.21 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $2.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.38 and a beta of 1.12. First Merchants has a 1-year low of $34.07 and a 1-year high of $46.12. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $40.01 and a 200 day simple moving average of $39.90. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38.

First Merchants Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.03%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 1st. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.54%.

About First Merchants

(Get Rating)

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 public finance. The company also offers personal and corporate trust; brokerage and private wealth management; and letters of credit, repurchase agreements, and other corporate services.

Further Reading

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