First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) – Equities research analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies raised their Q1 2019 earnings per share estimates for First Merchants in a report issued on Tuesday, April 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies analyst N. Race now expects that the bank will post earnings per share of $0.81 for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $0.76. Piper Jaffray Companies currently has a “Buy” rating and a $44.00 target price on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies also issued estimates for First Merchants’ Q4 2019 earnings at $0.88 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $0.89 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $0.91 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $3.66 EPS.

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on FRME. Raymond James assumed coverage on First Merchants in a report on Monday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, March 11th. Finally, FIG Partners restated a “market-perform” rating on shares of First Merchants in a report on Friday, February 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.25.

NASDAQ FRME opened at $38.78 on Thursday. First Merchants has a twelve month low of $32.49 and a twelve month high of $50.44. The stock has a market cap of $1.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The bank reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.03. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.74% and a net margin of 32.85%. The firm had revenue of $107.06 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $107.40 million.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of FRME. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 806,244 shares of the bank’s stock worth $36,272,000 after acquiring an additional 4,917 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 2.9% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,405,681 shares of the bank’s stock worth $153,223,000 after purchasing an additional 95,642 shares during the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 6.6% in the 3rd quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 74,942 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,372,000 after purchasing an additional 4,629 shares during the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $168,000. Finally, United Services Automobile Association lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 139,476 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,275,000 after purchasing an additional 4,018 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.77% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were given a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.27%. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 27.33%.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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