Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its stake in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 12.0% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 462,755 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 49,575 shares during the quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $17,538,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of FRME. Strs Ohio acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the second quarter worth approximately $125,000. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 106.4% during the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,953 shares of the bank’s stock worth $146,000 after purchasing an additional 2,038 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its holdings in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the first quarter worth approximately $151,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.70% of the company’s stock.
NASDAQ FRME traded down $1.00 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $35.99. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,762 shares, compared to its average volume of 212,277. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The company has a market capitalization of $1.85 billion, a PE ratio of 11.18, a PEG ratio of 1.65 and a beta of 1.03. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $37.59. First Merchants Co. has a 1-year low of $32.49 and a 1-year high of $49.85.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $106.89 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $109.10 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 31.66% and a return on equity of 11.36%. On average, sell-side analysts expect that First Merchants Co. will post 3.23 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.30%.
In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total value of $169,696.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders acquired 105 shares of company stock valued at $3,803 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.
Several research firms recently commented on FRME. Hovde Group began coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Wednesday, May 22nd. They set a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Stephens upgraded shares of First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 9th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.33.
First Merchants 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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