First Merchants Corp. (frme) Announces Dividend Increase – $0.15 Per Share
First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:frme) announced a quarterly dividend on Wednesday, November 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 2nd will be given a dividend of 0.15 per share on Friday, December 16th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.85%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 30th. This is a boost from First Merchants Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14.
Shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at 32.36 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $27.98 and a 200-day moving average of $26.45. First Merchants Corp. has a 1-year low of $21.10 and a 1-year high of $32.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.32 billion, a PE ratio of 17.92 and a beta of 0.99.
First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.02. First Merchants Corp. had a return on equity of 8.32% and a net margin of 23.59%. On average, equities research analysts anticipate 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 that occurred on Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.24, for a total transaction of $95,340.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.62% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in First Merchants Corp. by 3.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,592,354 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,698,000 after buying an additional 48,608 shares during the period. BlackRock Investment Management LLC increased its position in First Merchants Corp. by 4.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 166,152 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,142,000 after buying an additional 6,895 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in 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 during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in First Merchants Corp. by 3.9% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 50,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,254,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares during the period. Finally, American International Group Inc. increased its position in First Merchants Corp. by 6.0% in the second quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 23,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $585,000 after buying an additional 1,333 shares during the period. 76.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 31st. DA Davidson upped their price target on First Merchants Corp. from $29.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upped their price target on First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $28.90.
First Merchants Corp. Company Profile
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.
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