First Merchants (FRME) Given a $47.00 Price Target at Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies set a $47.00 price target on First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) in a research note published on Friday. The firm currently has a hold rating on the bank’s stock. Piper Jaffray Companies also issued estimates for First Merchants’ Q4 2018 earnings at $0.80 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $3.17 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $0.70 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $0.81 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $0.86 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $3.29 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $0.91 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $0.93 EPS and Q3 2020 earnings at $0.93 EPS.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. BidaskClub lowered First Merchants from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, August 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Stephens cut First Merchants from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $49.33.

Shares of First Merchants stock opened at $42.43 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.84. First Merchants has a fifty-two week low of $37.60 and a fifty-two week high of $50.44. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45.



First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.83 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $106.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $104.90 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.24% and a net margin of 30.43%. Equities research analysts predict that First Merchants will post 3.17 EPS for the current year.

In other First Merchants news, President Michael C. Rechin sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.63, for a total transaction of $729,450.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael C. Marhenke sold 26,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.14, for a total value of $1,277,640.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 30,294 shares in the company, valued at $1,488,647.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have acquired 81 shares of company stock worth $3,860 over the last 90 days. 1.29% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRME. UBS Group AG lifted its stake in First Merchants by 55.2% during the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 14,243 shares of the bank’s stock worth $594,000 after purchasing an additional 5,063 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 48.0% in the first quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 9,741 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $406,000 after acquiring an additional 3,158 shares in the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the first quarter valued at $257,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 37.3% in the first quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 80,581 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,362,000 after acquiring an additional 21,904 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1,624.7% in the first quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 215,500 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $8,986,000 after acquiring an additional 203,005 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.33% of the company’s stock.

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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