Invesco Ltd. Boosts Holdings in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

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Invesco Ltd. increased its holdings in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 37.2% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 122,498 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 33,204 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd.’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $4,644,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. A.R.T. Advisors LLC purchased a new position in First Merchants in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $269,000. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 44.3% in the 2nd quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 28,962 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,098,000 after purchasing an additional 8,890 shares in the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC purchased a new position in First Merchants in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $68,526,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 6.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,076,244 shares of the bank’s stock worth $154,490,000 after purchasing an additional 258,850 shares in the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 29.6% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 21,495 shares of the bank’s stock worth $815,000 after purchasing an additional 4,908 shares in the last quarter. 73.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on FRME. Zacks Investment Research cut First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 1st. Stephens raised First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $43.33.

Shares of FRME opened at $37.41 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.62 and a beta of 1.07. First Merchants Co. has a 1 year low of $32.49 and a 1 year high of $44.51. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $37.03 and its 200-day simple moving average is $36.94. 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 (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $106.89 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $109.10 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.36% and a net margin of 31.66%. On average, sell-side analysts expect that First Merchants Co. will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 6th were issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 5th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.78%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.30%.

In other news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 7,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total transaction of $277,254.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Stephan Fluhler sold 3,873 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.98, for a total value of $150,969.54. Insiders have bought a total of 134 shares of company stock worth $4,981 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Company Profile

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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