First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 75,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,981,512.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded down 1.02% on Friday, hitting $38.90. The stock had a trading volume of 229,037 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $40.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.07. First Merchants Corporation has a 52 week low of $25.84 and a 52 week high of $43.48. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.76 and a beta of 0.92.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.02. First Merchants Corporation had a return on equity of 9.96% and a net margin of 27.04%. The business had revenue of $81.53 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.75 million. Equities research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 91,705 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,453,000 after buying an additional 8,514 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 43.5% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 177,858 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,993,000 after buying an additional 53,910 shares during the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 45.5% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 60,514 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,379,000 after buying an additional 18,924 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 12.5% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 313,680 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,333,000 after buying an additional 34,732 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Merchants Corp raised its stake in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 54.0% in the first quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 21,796 shares of the bank’s stock worth $857,000 after buying an additional 7,642 shares during the last quarter. 67.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on FRME shares. ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, May 15th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. First Merchants Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.33.

About First Merchants Corporation

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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME)

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