Teacher Retirement System of Texas reduced its stake in shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 26.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 17,327 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,255 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas’ holdings in First Merchants Corp. were worth $432,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in First Merchants Corp. by 17.8% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 119,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,986,000 after buying an additional 18,112 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in First Merchants Corp. by 8.6% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,953 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 470 shares in the last quarter. Pinnacle Holdings LLC raised its position in First Merchants Corp. by 6.5% in the first quarter. Pinnacle Holdings LLC now owns 20,569 shares of the company’s stock worth $485,000 after buying an additional 1,249 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in First Merchants Corp. by 1.0% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 797,029 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,786,000 after buying an additional 7,995 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised 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 in the last quarter. 75.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) traded down 0.41% during trading on Friday, hitting $26.96. The stock had a trading volume of 84,498 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $26.91 and a 200-day moving average price of $25.57. First Merchants Corp. has a one year low of $21.10 and a one year high of $27.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.46 and a beta of 1.05.
First Merchants Corp. (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.03. First Merchants Corp. had a return on equity of 8.18% and a net margin of 22.88%. On average, equities research analysts predict that First Merchants Corp. will post $1.90 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.08%. First Merchants Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.18%.
A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. DA Davidson boosted their price objective on First Merchants Corp. from $29.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price objective on First Merchants Corp. from $27.00 to $28.50 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 13th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. began coverage on First Merchants Corp. in a research note on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Merchants Corp. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $28.10.
In other news, insider Michael J. Stewart sold 3,500 shares of First Merchants Corp. stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.24, for a total value of $95,340.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John Martin sold 5,000 shares of First Merchants Corp. stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.92, for a total value of $134,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 31,921 shares in the company, valued at approximately $859,313.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.62% of the company’s stock.
About First Merchants Corp.
First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding Company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank, National Association (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, Ameriana Bank, Ameriana Financial Services and First Merchants Trust Company as divisions of First Merchants Bank, N.A.