Todays Report: The Research Analysts Offer Predictions for First Merchants Corp.’s FY2016 Earnings (FRME)

The Research Analysts Offer Predictions for First Merchants Corp.’s FY2016 Earnings (FRME)

First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) – Analysts at FIG Partners reduced their FY2016 earnings estimates for shares of First Merchants Corp. in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. FIG Partners analyst B. Martin now forecasts that the brokerage will post earnings per share of $1.88 for the year, down from their previous estimate of $1.89. FIG Partners also issued estimates for First Merchants Corp.’s Q1 2017 earnings at $0.48 EPS and Q2 2017 earnings at $0.49 EPS.

First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.02. First Merchants Corp. had a return on equity of 8.40% and a net margin of 23.59%.

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on FRME. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday. Piper Jaffray Cos. started coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a report on Monday, July 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 price objective for the company. DA Davidson started coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $29.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their price objective on First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $28.90.

First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) opened at 27.80 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $27.03 and a 200-day moving average price of $25.99. First Merchants Corp. has a 12 month low of $21.10 and a 12 month high of $28.97. The stock has a market cap of $1.13 billion, a PE ratio of 15.39 and a beta of 1.05.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of First Merchants Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $9,432,000. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 19.4% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 1,312,206 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,713,000 after buying an additional 213,600 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 16.0% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,410,785 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,252,000 after buying an additional 194,382 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. boosted its position in First Merchants Corp. by 8.2% in the third quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 2,093,550 shares of the company’s stock worth $56,002,000 after buying an additional 158,700 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Merchants Corp. during the second quarter worth about $3,498,000. 75.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other First Merchants Corp. news, insider John Martin sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.92, for a total transaction of $134,600.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 31,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $859,313.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.24, for a total transaction of $95,340.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.62% of the company’s stock.

About First Merchants Corp.

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