Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Buy” by the six analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price target among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $39.00.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on FRME shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, July 31st. ValuEngine raised shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: This story was published by The Cerbat Gem and is the sole property of of The Cerbat Gem. If you are accessing this story on another publication, it was copied illegally and reposted in violation of US and international copyright and trademark law. The correct version of this story can be accessed at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/08/31/first-merchants-co-frme-receives-39-00-consensus-pt-from-brokerages.html.

In other First Merchants news, Director Terry L. Walker sold 1,221 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total transaction of $73,466.19. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 75,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,981,512.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FRME. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 116.1% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 14,264 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $561,000 after buying an additional 7,664 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 0.3% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,697,507 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $66,746,000 after buying an additional 4,432 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 17,626.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,402,680 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $133,795,000 after buying an additional 3,383,485 shares in the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the first quarter valued at $196,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 1.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 761,329 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $29,935,000 after buying an additional 14,100 shares in the last quarter. 67.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

First Merchants (NASDAQ FRME) traded up 0.18% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $39.22. 90,954 shares of the company traded hands. First Merchants has a 52-week low of $25.84 and a 52-week high of $43.48. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $39.78 and a 200 day moving average of $40.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.93 billion, a PE ratio of 17.91 and a beta of 0.92.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $81.53 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 29.60% and a return on equity of 9.86%. Equities research analysts expect that First Merchants will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.84%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.88%.

About First Merchants

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).

Receive News & Stock Ratings for First Merchants Co. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Merchants Co. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.