Sigma Planning Corp Sells 667 Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Sigma Planning Corp lessened its position in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating) by 6.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 10,069 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 667 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $359,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the second quarter valued at about $468,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 7.6% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 548,463 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $19,536,000 after buying an additional 38,865 shares during the last quarter. Clarkston Capital Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the second quarter valued at about $1,236,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 25.7% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,037,652 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $36,962,000 after buying an additional 212,253 shares during the last quarter. Finally, River Oaks Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the second quarter worth about $426,000. 72.37% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other First Merchants news, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 3,174 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.29, for a total value of $140,576.46. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,576 shares in the company, valued at $999,891.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. In other news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 24,523 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.25, for a total transaction of $1,085,142.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 32,020 shares in the company, valued at $1,416,885. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 3,174 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.29, for a total transaction of $140,576.46. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 22,576 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $999,891.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.24% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Stephens increased their target price on shares of First Merchants to $50.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, Raymond James increased their target price on shares of First Merchants from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th.

First Merchants Stock Performance

Shares of FRME opened at $43.58 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.80. First Merchants Co. has a one year low of $34.07 and a one year high of $46.12. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $42.30 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $40.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.60 billion, a PE ratio of 12.42 and a beta of 1.10.

First Merchants Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 2nd will be issued a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 1st. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.47%.

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

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding FRME? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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