$0.80 EPS Expected for First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) This Quarter

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Equities research analysts expect First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) to post earnings of $0.80 per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three analysts have made estimates for First Merchants’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.76 and the highest is $0.83. First Merchants posted earnings of $0.83 per share in the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year over year growth rate of 3.6%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, October 24th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full-year earnings of $3.26 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.19 to $3.31. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will report earnings of $3.37 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.19 to $3.55. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $106.89 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $109.10 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.36% and a net margin of 31.66%.

Several research analysts have recently commented on FRME shares. ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 11th. Stephens raised First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.33.

In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 7,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total transaction of $277,254.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Stephan Fluhler sold 3,873 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.98, for a total value of $150,969.54. In the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 134 shares of company stock worth $4,981. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Captrust Financial Advisors raised its position in shares of First Merchants by 148.5% during the 2nd quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 656 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 392 shares during the last quarter. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in First Merchants in the second quarter valued at approximately $125,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in First Merchants by 38.7% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in First Merchants in the first quarter valued at approximately $151,000. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. boosted its position in First Merchants by 321.5% in the first quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 5,758 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $212,000 after buying an additional 4,392 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.67% of the company’s stock.

Shares of FRME traded up $0.54 on Monday, hitting $38.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 127,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 201,672. The company has a market capitalization of $1.87 billion, a PE ratio of 11.88 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.91. First Merchants has a fifty-two week low of $32.49 and a fifty-two week high of $43.16. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $37.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $36.98.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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