Budros Ruhlin & Roe Inc. reduced its stake in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 13.7% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 23,352 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 3,700 shares during the period. Budros Ruhlin & Roe Inc.’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $973,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Swiss National Bank grew its position in First Merchants by 6.9% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 83,662 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,519,000 after acquiring an additional 5,400 shares in the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 32.6% during the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 143,356 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,028,000 after buying an additional 35,270 shares in the last quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 130.9% during the fourth quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 393,935 shares of the bank’s stock worth $16,569,000 after buying an additional 223,293 shares in the last quarter. Hamilton Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth about $215,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of First Merchants by 6.5% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 305,057 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,830,000 after buying an additional 18,719 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.71% of the company’s stock.
In other First Merchants news, insider Michele Kawiecki sold 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.42, for a total value of $26,652.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.91, for a total value of $197,595.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders acquired 61 shares of company stock valued at $2,657. 1.29% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The bank reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. First Merchants had a return on equity of 9.82% and a net margin of 26.33%. The firm had revenue of $99.48 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $98.35 million. sell-side analysts predict that First Merchants Co. will post 3.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 1st will be paid a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 31st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.87%. This is a boost from First Merchants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. First Merchants’s payout ratio is currently 36.51%.
FRME has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.33.
About First Merchants
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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