Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB trimmed its stake in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 29.1% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 11,216 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 4,600 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $413,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of FRME. Strs Ohio purchased a new position in First Merchants during the first quarter valued at $25,000. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in First Merchants during the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Pearl River Capital LLC purchased a new position in First Merchants during the fourth quarter valued at $42,000. Bessemer Group Inc. purchased a new position in First Merchants during the fourth quarter valued at $67,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 106.4% during the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,953 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $146,000 after purchasing an additional 2,038 shares in the last quarter. 73.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of NASDAQ:FRME traded down $0.31 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $35.58. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,097 shares, compared to its average volume of 223,780. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33. The company has a market cap of $1.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.99. First Merchants Co. has a 12-month low of $32.49 and a 12-month high of $50.44.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 21st. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. This is an increase from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.92%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.30%.
Several research firms have issued reports on FRME. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 10th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Hovde Group initiated coverage on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 price target on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $44.00 price target on shares of First Merchants and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Finally, Raymond James initiated coverage on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Monday, April 8th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $43.20.
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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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