The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,021,772 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 17,224 shares during the quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company owned about 2.08% of First Merchants Corporation worth $41,014,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in First Merchants Corporation by 122.5% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 595,009 shares of the bank’s stock worth $23,395,000 after buying an additional 327,556 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its holdings in First Merchants Corporation by 116.1% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 14,264 shares of the bank’s stock worth $561,000 after buying an additional 7,664 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in First Merchants Corporation by 218.5% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 107,292 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,219,000 after buying an additional 73,602 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in First Merchants Corporation by 13.9% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 49,942 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,964,000 after buying an additional 6,081 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new position in First Merchants Corporation in the 1st quarter worth $138,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.76% of the company’s stock.

In other First Merchants Corporation 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 completion of 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 SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last three months, insiders acquired 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,644. Insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

FRME has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, July 31st. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.33.

Shares of First Merchants Corporation (FRME) traded down 0.91% during trading on Thursday, reaching $43.48. 68,245 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average of $40.68 and a 200 day moving average of $40.25. First Merchants Corporation has a 52-week low of $25.84 and a 52-week high of $44.36. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.85 and a beta of 0.94.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st were issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 30th. First Merchants Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.88%.

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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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