Valeo Financial Advisors LLC lowered its position in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 23.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 25,423 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 7,977 shares during the quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC owned approximately 0.05% of First Merchants worth $1,213,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Rhumbline Advisers grew its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 18.1% during the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 52,645 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,195,000 after purchasing an additional 8,050 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in First Merchants in the first quarter valued at approximately $172,000. Boston Partners boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 24.7% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 669,694 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $27,926,000 after acquiring an additional 132,704 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 6.1% in the first quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 52,300 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,181,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in First Merchants by 45.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 9,387 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $391,000 after acquiring an additional 2,950 shares during the last quarter. 70.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several analysts recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Stephens lowered First Merchants from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.67.

NASDAQ FRME traded up $0.19 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $47.06. The company had a trading volume of 135,524 shares, compared to its average volume of 85,805. First Merchants Co. has a 52 week low of $37.60 and a 52 week high of $50.44. The company has a market cap of $2.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.53, a P/E/G ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.82. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $102.76 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $101.57 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 10.44% and a net margin of 28.09%. equities research analysts anticipate that First Merchants Co. will post 3.18 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 21st. Investors of record on Friday, September 7th will be given a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 6th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.87%. First Merchants’s payout ratio is 36.51%.

In related news, Director Michael C. Marhenke sold 26,000 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.14, for a total transaction of $1,277,640.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 30,294 shares in the company, valued at $1,488,647.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Stephan Fluhler sold 1,047 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $50,256.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 81 shares of company stock worth $3,877 and have sold 42,047 shares worth $2,057,346. 1.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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