$0.61 Earnings Per Share Expected for First Merchants Corporation (FRME) This Quarter

Wall Street brokerages expect First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) to announce $0.61 earnings per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for First Merchants’ earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.62 and the lowest is $0.58. First Merchants posted earnings of $0.55 per share during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 10.9%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th.

On average, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full year earnings of $2.29 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.25 to $2.35. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $2.66 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.59 to $2.72. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). First Merchants had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 9.56%. The business had revenue of $93.09 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $97.45 million.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.33.

In other news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 4,301 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.61, for a total transaction of $183,265.61. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, President Michael C. Rechin sold 5,332 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.41, for a total value of $220,798.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have bought 66 shares of company stock worth $2,681 over the last ninety days. 1.41% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisor Group Inc. grew its holdings in First Merchants by 8.3% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its holdings in First Merchants by 1.7% during the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP grew its holdings in First Merchants by 2,048.6% during the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 3,790 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new stake in First Merchants during the third quarter worth $172,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in First Merchants by 17.6% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,155 shares of the bank’s stock worth $207,000 after buying an additional 771 shares in the last quarter. 67.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of First Merchants (FRME) traded down $0.49 on Friday, reaching $40.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 100,294 shares, compared to its average volume of 144,093. First Merchants has a 12-month low of $33.61 and a 12-month high of $44.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,007.49, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.84, a PEG ratio of 2.55 and a beta of 0.92.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.76%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 33.03%.

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First Merchants 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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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