First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME – Get Free Report) declared a quarterly dividend on Monday, November 13th, Wall Street Journal reports. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of 0.34 per share by the bank on Friday, December 15th. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th.
First Merchants has raised its dividend by an average of 7.7% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 12 years. First Merchants has a payout ratio of 39.3% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect First Merchants to earn $3.45 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.36 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 39.4%.
First Merchants Price Performance
Shares of First Merchants stock opened at $31.28 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.41 and a beta of 1.08. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $28.05 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $28.71. First Merchants has a 12 month low of $24.52 and a 12 month high of $44.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.85.
Analyst Ratings Changes
Several equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Piper Sandler decreased their target price on shares of First Merchants from $38.00 to $36.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. StockNews.com began coverage on First Merchants in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, Raymond James reduced their target price on First Merchants from $36.00 to $33.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 30th.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On First Merchants
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. HighTower Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 7.0% during the 1st quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 5,337 shares of the bank’s stock worth $221,000 after purchasing an additional 349 shares during the period. Cetera Investment Advisers boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 5.3% during the first quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 7,112 shares of the bank’s stock worth $296,000 after buying an additional 356 shares during the period. State of Wyoming grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 35.0% in the second quarter. State of Wyoming now owns 1,454 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $41,000 after buying an additional 377 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 9.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,886 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 441 shares during the period. Finally, Invesco Ltd. lifted its stake in First Merchants by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 100,356 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,792,000 after acquiring an additional 473 shares in the last quarter. 70.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
First Merchants Company 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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