Renaissance Technologies LLC Raises Stake in First Merchants Corporation (FRME)
Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 785,329 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 24,000 shares during the quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC owned 1.82% of First Merchants Corporation worth $31,523,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 48.3% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 74,075 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,973,000 after acquiring an additional 24,133 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 8.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 264,772 shares of the bank’s stock worth $10,628,000 after acquiring an additional 8,623 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 6,610 shares of the bank’s stock worth $265,000 after acquiring an additional 101 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP grew its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 2,048.6% in the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after acquiring an additional 3,790 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 67.45% of the company’s stock.
Several brokerages have recently commented on FRME. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Friday. They issued a “hold” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday. Finally, BidaskClub lowered First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.33.
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First Merchants Corporation (FRME) opened at 43.88 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $40.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $40.07. First Merchants Corporation has a 52-week low of $25.84 and a 52-week high of $43.98. The firm has a market cap of $2.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.04 and a beta of 0.94.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 9.63% and a net margin of 27.04%. The company had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. Analysts predict that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st were paid a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.64%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.88%.
In other 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 directly owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders bought 66 shares of company stock worth $2,644. Corporate insiders own 1.41% 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).
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