Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 3.4% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 270,483 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 8,837 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned approximately 0.63% of First Merchants Corporation worth $10,857,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in FRME. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth about $115,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth about $138,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 5.7% in the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,538 shares of the bank’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invictus RG acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth about $196,000. 67.45% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 31st. BidaskClub upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $43.50.

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Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at 43.75 on Wednesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $39.78 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.02. First Merchants Corporation has a one year low of $25.84 and a one year high of $43.75. The company has a market cap of $2.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.98 and a beta of 0.94.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its 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. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 27.04% and a return on equity of 9.63%. The business had revenue of $81.53 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.75 million. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st were given a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.65%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.88%.

In related news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the sale, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders purchased a total of 66 shares of company stock worth $2,644 in the last 90 days. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About First Merchants Corporation

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).

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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