First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) – Stock analysts at DA Davidson boosted their FY2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of First Merchants Corporation in a note issued to investors on Friday. DA Davidson analyst K. Reevey now anticipates that the bank will post earnings per share of $2.24 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $2.22.

Several other brokerages have also commented on FRME. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 12th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, April 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.67.

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Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 39.41 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.62 billion, a PE ratio of 18.68 and a beta of 0.93. First Merchants Corporation has a 52 week low of $25.84 and a 52 week high of $43.48. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $40.46 and its 200 day moving average is $39.83.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 27.04% and a return on equity of 9.96%. The company had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.75 million.

In other news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.30, for a total transaction of $51,648.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 24.0% in the first quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 57,300 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,253,000 after buying an additional 11,100 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 13.9% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 49,942 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,964,000 after buying an additional 6,081 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 218.5% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 107,292 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,219,000 after buying an additional 73,602 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. raised its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 8.0% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 50,631 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,990,000 after buying an additional 3,751 shares during the period. Finally, Teza Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth about $392,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.56% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Corporation Company Profile

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).

Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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