Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued their buy rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) in a research note issued to investors on Sunday morning. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods currently has a $47.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on FRME. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. BidaskClub upgraded First Merchants Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a hold rating on shares of First Merchants Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $47.33.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.05). First Merchants Corporation had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 10.38%. The company had revenue of $93.09 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $97.45 million.

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In related news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total value of $73,466.19. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FRME. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 17,626.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,402,680 shares of the bank’s stock worth $133,795,000 after purchasing an additional 3,383,485 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group bought a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the second quarter worth approximately $11,991,000. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Merchants Corporation in the second quarter worth approximately $242,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 33.9% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 796,732 shares of the bank’s stock worth $31,981,000 after purchasing an additional 201,723 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Merchants Corp increased its position in shares of First Merchants Corporation by 624.9% in the third quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 199,976 shares of the bank’s stock worth $8,585,000 after purchasing an additional 172,389 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 67.32% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Corporation Company Profile

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).

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