First Financial Bank Trust Division increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME – Free Report) by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 76,903 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 1,124 shares during the period. First Financial Bank Trust Division owned 0.13% of First Merchants worth $2,171,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 6.3% during the first quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 637,405 shares of the bank’s stock worth $21,002,000 after acquiring an additional 38,040 shares during the period. New York Life Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in First Merchants by 12.0% in the 4th quarter. New York Life Investment Management LLC now owns 13,633 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $560,000 after buying an additional 1,460 shares in the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 9.5% during the fourth quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 2,835,869 shares of the bank’s stock worth $116,583,000 after buying an additional 246,560 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 1.9% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 928,910 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $30,007,000 after acquiring an additional 17,636 shares during the period. Finally, John W. Rosenthal Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the fourth quarter valued at about $1,449,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.78% of the company’s stock.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of analysts have issued reports on the stock. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Thursday, August 17th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Piper Sandler increased their price target on First Merchants from $36.00 to $40.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Raymond James dropped their price objective on First Merchants from $38.00 to $36.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, TheStreet lowered First Merchants from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 30th.
First Merchants Stock Performance
Shares of First Merchants stock opened at $28.74 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. The company has a market cap of $1.72 billion, a PE ratio of 6.59 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a 50 day moving average of $30.50 and a 200-day moving average of $30.57. First Merchants Co. has a 1-year low of $24.52 and a 1-year high of $45.04.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME – Get Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $1.02 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.04 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $247.68 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $171.80 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 12.93% and a net margin of 29.25%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that First Merchants Co. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
First Merchants Announces Dividend
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 31st. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.73%. First Merchants’s payout ratio is presently 31.19%.
First Merchants Profile
First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. The company accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, public finance, and real estate mortgage loans. It also offers personal and corporate trust; brokerage and private wealth management; and letters of credit, repurchase agreements, and other corporate services.
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