Shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) have received an average rating of “Buy” from the six analysts that are currently covering the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $28.13.

FRME has been the subject of several analyst reports. DA Davidson increased their target price on shares of First Merchants Corp. from $29.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 28th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Merchants Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 31st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their target price on shares of First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th.

Shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at 31.50 on Wednesday. First Merchants Corp. has a 52 week low of $21.10 and a 52 week high of $31.90. The firm has a market cap of $1.29 billion, a PE ratio of 17.44 and a beta of 0.99. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $27.52 and a 200 day moving average of $26.30.

First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.02. First Merchants Corp. had a net margin of 23.59% and a return on equity of 8.40%. Equities research analysts predict that First Merchants Corp. will post $1.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.24, for a total transaction of $95,340.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider John Martin sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.92, for a total transaction of $134,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 31,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $859,313.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.62% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 77.4% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 2,426 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants Corp. during the third quarter worth $228,000. Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants Corp. during the third quarter worth $242,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 344.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,076 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after buying an additional 8,585 shares in the last quarter. Finally, 1st Global Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 12,294 shares of the company’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.85% of the company’s stock.

About First Merchants Corp.

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding Company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank, National Association (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, Ameriana Bank, Ameriana Financial Services and First Merchants Trust Company as divisions of First Merchants Bank, N.A.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FRME

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