First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) was upgraded by investment analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, ValuEngine reports.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Stephens upgraded First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, Hovde Group initiated coverage on First Merchants in a research report on Wednesday, May 22nd. They set a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 price objective for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $43.33.

NASDAQ FRME opened at $38.55 on Wednesday. First Merchants has a fifty-two week low of $32.49 and a fifty-two week high of $49.22. The stock has a market cap of $1.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.06. The business has a fifty day moving average of $36.68 and a 200-day moving average of $37.18. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.36% and a net margin of 31.66%. The business had revenue of $106.89 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $109.10 million. As a group, analysts anticipate that First Merchants will post 3.22 EPS for the current year.

In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total transaction of $169,696.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 103 shares of company stock valued at $3,800. 1.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 6.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,076,244 shares of the bank’s stock worth $154,490,000 after purchasing an additional 258,850 shares in the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC bought a new stake in First Merchants during the 2nd quarter valued at $68,526,000. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 5.0% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,146,254 shares of the bank’s stock worth $43,442,000 after buying an additional 54,731 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 10.5% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 570,956 shares of the bank’s stock worth $19,566,000 after buying an additional 54,304 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the 2nd quarter worth about $20,495,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Company Profile

First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. It accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, and real estate mortgage loans, as well as rents safe deposit facilities.

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Analyst Recommendations for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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