Patriot Financial Partners GP LP purchased a new position in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm purchased 566,581 shares of the bank’s stock, valued at approximately $21,324,000. First Merchants makes up 7.5% of Patriot Financial Partners GP LP’s holdings, making the stock its 5th largest holding. Patriot Financial Partners GP LP owned 1.14% of First Merchants at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRME. Captrust Financial Advisors increased its position in First Merchants by 148.5% during the second quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 656 shares of the bank’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 392 shares in the last quarter. Denali Advisors LLC purchased a new position in First Merchants during the second quarter worth $125,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in First Merchants by 38.7% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the first quarter valued at $151,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the second quarter valued at $223,000. 74.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on FRME. Raymond James lifted their price objective on First Merchants from $39.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 1st. BidaskClub raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 31st. Finally, ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.50.

In other news, SVP Stephan Fluhler sold 3,873 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.98, for a total transaction of $150,969.54. Also, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 7,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total value of $277,254.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

First Merchants stock traded down $0.07 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $41.36. The stock had a trading volume of 87,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 200,774. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion, a PE ratio of 12.84 and a beta of 1.05. First Merchants Co. has a twelve month low of $32.49 and a twelve month high of $42.82. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $38.41 and its 200 day simple moving average is $37.10.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $111.05 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $109.87 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 10.88% and a net margin of 29.88%. Equities analysts predict that First Merchants Co. will post 3.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About First Merchants

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

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