WBI Investments Inc. Acquires Shares of 136,509 First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

WBI Investments Inc. bought a new stake in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEFree Report) in the third quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund bought 136,509 shares of the bank’s stock, valued at approximately $3,798,000. First Merchants accounts for 0.8% of WBI Investments Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 27th largest position.

A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in FRME. Raymond James & Associates lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 162.4% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 23,798 shares of the bank’s stock worth $990,000 after buying an additional 14,728 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of First Merchants by 2.0% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 26,461 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,101,000 after buying an additional 519 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 22.6% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 12,439 shares of the bank’s stock worth $517,000 after buying an additional 2,294 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in First Merchants by 7.0% during the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 5,337 shares of the bank’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 349 shares during the period. Finally, D.A. Davidson & CO. purchased a new stake in First Merchants during the first quarter worth $308,000. 70.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other First Merchants news, Director Michael C. Rechin sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.05, for a total value of $370,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 85,834 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,180,149.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.32% of the company’s stock.

First Merchants Trading Up 0.7 %

NASDAQ FRME opened at $33.82 on Monday. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $35.38 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $31.53. The stock has a market cap of $2.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.04 and a beta of 1.10. First Merchants Co. has a 12-month low of $24.52 and a 12-month high of $42.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.

First Merchants Announces Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be issued a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 29th. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.02%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.36%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Piper Sandler lowered their target price on First Merchants from $38.00 to $36.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. TheStreet upgraded First Merchants from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, Raymond James lifted their price target on shares of First Merchants from $33.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, January 29th.

Get Our Latest Research Report on FRME

First Merchants Profile

(Free Report)

First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank that provides community banking services. The company accepts time, savings, and demand deposits; and provides consumer, commercial, agri-business, public finance, and real estate mortgage loans. It 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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