SG Americas Securities LLC lowered its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 17.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 6,035 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 1,248 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC’s holdings in First Merchants Corporation were worth $242,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth approximately $115,000. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth approximately $138,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in First Merchants Corporation by 5.7% in the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,538 shares of the bank’s stock worth $139,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the period. Invictus RG bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth approximately $196,000. Finally, Amalgamated Bank bought a new stake in First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth approximately $201,000. 67.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ FRME) opened at 38.75 on Monday. First Merchants Corporation has a 52 week low of $25.84 and a 52 week high of $43.48. The stock has a market cap of $1.90 billion, a PE ratio of 17.69 and a beta of 0.94. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $39.17 and its 200 day moving average is $39.88.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its quarterly earnings data 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 analyst estimates of $78.75 million. First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 27.04% and a return on equity of 9.63%. Analysts predict that First Merchants Corporation will post $2.32 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st were paid a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.86%. First Merchants Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 32.88%.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on FRME shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, July 31st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.00.

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In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the sale, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders bought 66 shares of company stock worth $2,617 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

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).

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

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