First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) Stock Position Increased by Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado

Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its position in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 462,755 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 49,575 shares during the quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado owned about 0.93% of First Merchants worth $17,538,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Strs Ohio bought a new stake in First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. Denali Advisors LLC bought a new stake in First Merchants in the 2nd quarter valued at about $125,000. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its position in First Merchants by 106.4% in the 1st 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 during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in First Merchants by 38.7% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,114 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at about $151,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.70% of the company’s stock.

In other First Merchants news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total transaction of $169,696.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders have acquired a total of 105 shares of company stock worth $3,803 over the last 90 days. 1.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on FRME. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 24th. Hovde Group began coverage on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Wednesday, May 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 price objective on the stock. Stephens upgraded shares of First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $43.33.

Shares of FRME stock traded down $1.00 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $35.99. 6,762 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 212,277. First Merchants Co. has a 12 month low of $32.49 and a 12 month high of $49.85. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.65 and a beta of 1.03. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $37.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.91.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.03. First Merchants had a net margin of 31.66% and a return on equity of 11.36%. The company had revenue of $106.89 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $109.10 million. Equities research analysts predict that First Merchants Co. will post 3.23 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be given a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 5th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.89%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.30%.

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

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