Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm purchased 5,671 shares of the bank’s stock, valued at approximately $243,000.

Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Merchants by 6.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,906,637 shares of the bank’s stock worth $76,533,000 after purchasing an additional 119,583 shares during the last quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the third quarter worth about $1,993,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Merchants by 1.0% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 176,741 shares of the bank’s stock worth $7,095,000 after purchasing an additional 1,704 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL lifted its position in shares of First Merchants by 3.5% during the second quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 59,300 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,380,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of First Merchants by 1.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 997,546 shares of the bank’s stock worth $40,042,000 after purchasing an additional 15,374 shares during the last quarter. 69.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total transaction of $220,798.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction of $87,360.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 33,543 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,465,158.24. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have purchased 2,036 shares of company stock worth $88,908. 1.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.33.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at $42.80 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $2,118.05, a PE ratio of 18.82, a P/E/G ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 0.90. First Merchants Corporation has a 12 month low of $35.26 and a 12 month high of $45.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.29 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.68%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.03%.

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

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