First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) Research Coverage Started at Raymond James

Raymond James began coverage on shares of First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) in a research report sent to investors on Monday, April 8th, Benzinga reports. The brokerage issued an outperform rating and a $42.00 price target on the bank’s stock.

FRME has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 11th. BidaskClub raised First Merchants from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, FIG Partners restated a market-perform rating on shares of First Merchants in a research note on Friday, February 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $44.25.

FRME stock traded down $1.12 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $38.33. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,616 shares, compared to its average volume of 175,090. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. First Merchants has a 1 year low of $32.49 and a 1 year high of $50.44. The stock has a market cap of $1.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 0.96.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The bank reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.03. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.74% and a net margin of 32.85%. The business had revenue of $107.06 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $107.40 million. As a group, analysts forecast that First Merchants will post 3.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 0.6% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 806,244 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $36,272,000 after buying an additional 4,917 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 2.9% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,405,681 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $153,223,000 after buying an additional 95,642 shares during the period. Credit Suisse AG boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 6.6% during the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 74,942 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,372,000 after buying an additional 4,629 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new position in shares of First Merchants during the third quarter valued at approximately $168,000. Finally, United Services Automobile Association boosted its position in shares of First Merchants by 3.0% during the third quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 139,476 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,275,000 after buying an additional 4,018 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.77% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Company Profile

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.

Further Reading: Preferred Stock

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