Wall Street analysts expect that First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) will announce sales of $109.25 million for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Four analysts have made estimates for First Merchants’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $107.40 million and the highest is $110.10 million. First Merchants reported sales of $106.01 million during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 3.1%. The company is expected to announce its next earnings report on Wednesday, October 23rd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full year sales of $445.10 million for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $440.70 million to $450.00 million. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will post sales of $504.63 million, with estimates ranging from $494.10 million to $521.90 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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%.

FRME has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Hovde Group started coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Wednesday, May 22nd. They set a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 price objective for the company. Finally, 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. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $43.33.

In related news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total value of $169,696.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Insiders bought 103 shares of company stock worth $3,800 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRME. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 10.5% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 570,956 shares of the bank’s stock worth $19,566,000 after acquiring an additional 54,304 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio bought a new stake in First Merchants in the first quarter worth $25,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in First Merchants by 980.7% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 12,568 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $463,000 after purchasing an additional 11,405 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in First Merchants by 106.4% during the first 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 in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in First Merchants by 144.3% during the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 20,669 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $762,000 after purchasing an additional 12,209 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ:FRME traded up $1.15 during trading on Friday, hitting $39.26. 195,216 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 209,384. 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 has a 52-week low of $32.49 and a 52-week high of $49.22. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $36.68 and its 200 day simple moving average is $37.18. The company has a market cap of $1.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.19, a PEG ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 1.06.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be issued a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.65%. 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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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