Rhumbline Advisers Acquires 11,725 Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Rhumbline Advisers boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 12.6% during the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 104,645 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 11,725 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers’ holdings in First Merchants were worth $3,938,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRME. Captrust Financial Advisors boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 148.5% in the 2nd quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 656 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $25,000 after buying an additional 392 shares in the last quarter. Denali Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the 2nd quarter valued at about $125,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 38.7% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at about $151,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the 2nd quarter valued at about $223,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on FRME. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 11th. Raymond James raised their price target on shares of First Merchants from $39.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, October 25th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $43.50.

Shares of First Merchants stock opened at $41.36 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.84 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $38.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $37.10. First Merchants Co. has a 52 week low of $32.49 and a 52 week high of $42.82.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $111.05 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $109.87 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 29.88% and a return on equity of 10.88%. As a group, research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Co. will post 3.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Stephan Fluhler sold 3,873 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.98, for a total value of $150,969.54. Also, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 7,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total transaction of $277,254.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.30% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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