Great West Life Assurance Co. Can continued to hold its position in First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 5,300 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can’s holdings in First Merchants Corp. were worth $125,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 8.6% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,953 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 470 shares in the last quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 12,294 shares of the company’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 4.8% in the second quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 18,663 shares of the company’s stock worth $465,000 after buying an additional 860 shares in the last quarter. Pinnacle Holdings LLC boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 6.5% in the first quarter. Pinnacle Holdings LLC now owns 20,569 shares of the company’s stock worth $485,000 after buying an additional 1,249 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 2.0% in the first quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 27,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $651,000 after buying an additional 552 shares in the last quarter. 75.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) traded down 2.15% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $26.34. The company had a trading volume of 93,018 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $27.02 and its 200 day moving average price is $25.32. First Merchants Corp. has a 52-week low of $21.10 and a 52-week high of $27.60. The company has a market cap of $1.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.10 and a beta of 1.06.
First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.03. First Merchants Corp. had a return on equity of 8.18% and a net margin of 22.88%. Equities analysts expect that First Merchants Corp. will post $1.90 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. First Merchants Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.18%.
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on FRME shares. DA Davidson started coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $29.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Piper Jaffray Cos. initiated coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a research report on Monday, July 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their price objective on First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $27.90.
In other news, insider John Martin sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.92, for a total transaction of $134,600.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 31,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $859,313.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.24, for a total value of $95,340.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.62% of the company’s stock.
First Merchants Corp. Company Profile
First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding Company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank, National Association (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, Ameriana Bank, Ameriana Financial Services and First Merchants Trust Company as divisions of First Merchants Bank, N.A.
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