First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) – Equities researchers at FIG Partners upped their Q4 2017 earnings estimates for shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. FIG Partners analyst B. Martin now forecasts that the bank will post earnings per share of $0.62 for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $0.60. FIG Partners also issued estimates for First Merchants Corporation’s Q1 2018 earnings at $0.60 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $0.63 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.69 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.71 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $2.63 EPS.
First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 10.38% and a net margin of 26.28%. The company had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $97.45 million.
Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on FRME. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One 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 stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.
In related news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total transaction of $73,466.19. Following the sale, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FRME. Advisor Group Inc. grew its position in First Merchants Corporation by 8.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its position in First Merchants Corporation by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP grew its position in First Merchants Corporation by 2,048.6% in the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 3,790 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in First Merchants Corporation by 28.7% in the 2nd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,553 shares of the bank’s stock worth $182,000 after purchasing an additional 1,015 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amalgamated Bank bought a new position in First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth about $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.32% of the company’s stock.
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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