First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ: FRME) Expected to Post Earnings of $ 0.94 Per Share
Brokerages forecast First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ: FRME) to post earnings per share (EPS) of $ 0.94 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have released earnings estimates for First Merchants, with the lowest EPS estimate being $ 0.87 and the highest estimate being $ 0.98. First Merchants posted earnings per share of $ 0.62 in the same quarter last year, indicating a positive year-over-year growth rate of 51.6%. The company is expected to release its next quarterly results on Thursday, July 22.
According to Zacks, analysts expect First Merchants to report annual earnings of $ 3.64 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $ 3.48 to $ 3.81. For the next fiscal year, analysts predict the company will post earnings of $ 3.41 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $ 3.31 to $ 3.50. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of seller-side research analysts who cover First Merchants.
First Merchants (NASDAQ: FRME) last reported quarterly results on Wednesday, April 21. The bank reported EPS of $ 0.91 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $ 0.78 by $ 0.13. First Merchants recorded a return on equity of 8.95% and a net margin of 30.18%. The company posted revenue of $ 124.52 million in the quarter, compared to analysts’ estimates of $ 126.87 million.
Separately, Raymond James raised his price target on First Merchants shares from $ 46.00 to $ 55 and gave the company an âoutperformanceâ rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 27. Three research analysts rated the stock with a buy rating and one issued a strong buy rating for the company. First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of âBuyâ and a consensus price target of $ 40.25.
In other First Merchants news, CEO Mark K. Hardwick sold 8,090 shares of the company in a trade that took place on Wednesday, May 26. The shares were sold for an average price of $ 45.36, for a total value of $ 366,962.40. The sale was disclosed in a file with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed via this hyperlink. In addition, director Michael R. Becher sold 1,100 shares in a trade on Wednesday, May 12. The stock was sold at an average price of $ 46.04, for a total trade of $ 50,644.00. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.36% of the company’s shares.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of FRME. Berman Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new equity stake in First Merchants in the first quarter valued at approximately $ 28,000. The Toronto Dominion Bank purchased a new stake in First Merchants during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $ 31,000. Vestor Capital LLC acquired a new stake in First Merchants during the 4th quarter for a value of approximately $ 51,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in First Merchants in the first quarter for a value of approximately $ 151,000. Finally, First Bank & Trust increased its stake in First Merchants by 54.5% in the first quarter. First Bank & Trust now owns 3,613 shares of the bank valued at $ 168,000 after purchasing an additional 1,275 shares in the last quarter. 73.85% of the shares are held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
NASDAQ: FRME shares opened at $ 41.51 on Friday. The company has a debt ratio of 0.26, a quick ratio of 0.80, and a current ratio of 0.80. The company has a market cap of $ 2.26 billion, a PE ratio of 13.70 and a beta of 1.31. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $ 46.01. First Merchants has a one-year minimum of $ 21.50 and a one-year maximum of $ 50.65.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 18. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 4 received a dividend of $ 0.29 per share. This is a positive change from First Merchants’ previous quarterly dividend of $ 0.26. This represents an annualized dividend of $ 1.16 and a dividend yield of 2.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday June 3. First Merchants’ payout ratio is currently 42.34%.
Company Profile First Merchants
First Merchants Corporation is the financial holding company of First Merchants Bank which provides community banking services. It accepts term, savings and sight deposits; and offers consumer, commercial, agri-food and real estate mortgages. The company also offers personal and corporate trust; brokerage and private wealth management; and letters of credit, repurchase agreements and other corporate services.
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