Dana Investment Advisors Inc. decreased its stake in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 71,411 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 1,494 shares during the period. Dana Investment Advisors Inc. owned about 0.15% of First Merchants Corporation worth $2,866,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. bought a new position in First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth $115,000. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in First Merchants Corporation by 8.3% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 228 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in First Merchants Corporation by 1.7% during the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in First Merchants Corporation during the first quarter worth $138,000. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in First Merchants Corporation by 5.7% during the first quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,538 shares of the bank’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. 67.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) traded up 0.62% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $44.15. 95,944 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. First Merchants Corporation has a 12-month low of $25.84 and a 12-month high of $44.26. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $40.04 and a 200 day moving average price of $40.07. The company has a market cap of $2.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.16 and a beta of 0.94.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.75 million. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 27.04% and a return on equity of 9.63%. On average, analysts expect that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.88%.

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 directly owns 75,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,981,512.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders have purchased a total of 66 shares of company stock worth $2,644 over the last three months. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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A number of brokerages recently weighed in on FRME. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research note on Friday. They set a “hold” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $44.33.

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).

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

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