First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) was downgraded by equities researchers at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.
FRME has been the topic of several other reports. FIG Partners reissued a “market-perform” rating on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Monday, January 29th. ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Sunday, January 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.67.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at $42.23 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93. First Merchants has a 52-week low of $36.73 and a 52-week high of $45.42. The company has a market capitalization of $2,091.68, a PE ratio of 19.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.91.
In other First Merchants news, Director Terry L. Walker bought 3,176 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $42.69 per share, with a total value of $135,583.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Over the last ninety days, insiders have bought 3,199 shares of company stock worth $136,578. Corporate insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the third quarter worth about $172,000. Hamilton Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth about $215,000. Ullmann Financial Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth about $235,000. Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new position in First Merchants in the third quarter worth about $243,000. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB acquired a new position in First Merchants in the fourth quarter worth about $257,000. 68.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About First Merchants
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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