Natixis Advisors L.P. Sells 1,378 Shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Natixis Advisors L.P. decreased its holdings in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 110,064 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 1,378 shares during the quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. owned approximately 0.22% of First Merchants worth $4,171,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Strs Ohio bought a new position in First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Denali Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Merchants in the 2nd quarter valued at $125,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in First Merchants by 106.4% in the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,953 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $146,000 after purchasing an additional 2,038 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in First Merchants by 38.7% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,114 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in First Merchants in the 1st quarter valued at $151,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ FRME traded up $0.57 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $39.12. The stock had a trading volume of 5,125 shares, compared to its average volume of 176,442. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $36.68 and its 200 day simple moving average is $37.18. The firm has a market cap of $1.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.06. First Merchants Co. has a fifty-two week low of $32.49 and a fifty-two week high of $49.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.91.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $106.89 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $109.10 million. First Merchants had a return on equity of 11.36% and a net margin of 31.66%. Equities analysts expect that First Merchants Co. will post 3.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.66%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.30%.

In related news, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 4,680 shares of First Merchants stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.26, for a total transaction of $169,696.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have purchased 103 shares of company stock valued at $3,800. 1.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on FRME shares. ValuEngine upgraded First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Hovde Group assumed coverage on First Merchants in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 target price for the company. Stephens raised First Merchants from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.33.

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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