FIG Partners Weighs in on First Merchants Co.’s Q1 2019 Earnings (NASDAQ:FRME)

First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) – Equities researchers at FIG Partners issued their Q1 2019 earnings estimates for First Merchants in a research report issued on Monday, according to Zacks Investment Research. FIG Partners analyst B. Martin expects that the bank will earn $0.71 per share for the quarter. FIG Partners has a “Market-Perform” rating on the stock. FIG Partners also issued estimates for First Merchants’ Q2 2019 earnings at $0.76 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $3.15 EPS.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.61. First Merchants had a net margin of 24.90% and a return on equity of 9.95%. The company had revenue of $97.83 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $98.30 million.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on FRME. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Sunday, January 28th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $49.67.

Shares of First Merchants (FRME) opened at $42.36 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $2,033.68, a PE ratio of 17.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 0.91. First Merchants has a 52-week low of $36.73 and a 52-week high of $45.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 1st. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.70%. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 33.96%.

In other First Merchants news, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total transaction of $220,798.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke bought 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $43.68 per share, for a total transaction of $87,360.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 33,543 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,465,158.24. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have acquired 5,199 shares of company stock worth $223,938. 1.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1,533.9% in the 4th quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT now owns 1,089,837 shares of the bank’s stock worth $45,838,000 after purchasing an additional 1,023,137 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $21,120,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 7.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,666,493 shares of the bank’s stock worth $147,175,000 after purchasing an additional 263,813 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $242,000. Finally, Kennedy Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Merchants by 130.9% in the 4th quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 393,935 shares of the bank’s stock worth $16,569,000 after purchasing an additional 223,293 shares during the last quarter. 66.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

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