Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. Decreases Holdings in First Merchants Corporation (FRME)

Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. reduced its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 19.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 375,619 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 91,591 shares during the quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. owned 0.76% of First Merchants Corporation worth $16,125,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 8.3% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 1.7% in the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 2,048.6% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $159,000 after purchasing an additional 3,790 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 28.7% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,553 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $182,000 after purchasing an additional 1,015 shares during the period. Finally, Amalgamated Bank purchased a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the first quarter valued at $201,000. Institutional investors own 68.15% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total value of $183,265.61. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In the last ninety days, insiders purchased 66 shares of company stock worth $2,681. Corporate insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

FRME has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub cut shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Sunday, October 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded down $0.32 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $40.52. 148,600 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 194,678. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,006.99, a PE ratio of 17.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.54 and a beta of 0.92. First Merchants Corporation has a 52 week low of $32.36 and a 52 week high of $44.36. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.28%. sell-side analysts predict that First Merchants Corporation will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.78%. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.03%.

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First Merchants Corporation Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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