First Merchants (FRME) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “FIRST MERCHANTS CORP. is a bank holding company engaged in conducting commercial banking business through the offices of its banking subsidiaries. “

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on FRME. BidaskClub downgraded First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Hovde Group assumed coverage on First Merchants in a research report on Wednesday, May 22nd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $39.00 target price on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $44.00 target price on First Merchants and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. Raymond James assumed coverage on First Merchants in a research report on Monday, April 8th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 target price on the stock. Finally, FIG Partners restated a “market-perform” rating on shares of First Merchants in a research report on Friday, February 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.20.

NASDAQ FRME opened at $33.25 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.68 billion, a PE ratio of 10.36, a PEG ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.94. First Merchants has a 1-year low of $32.49 and a 1-year high of $50.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.80 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $103.58 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $107.28 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 32.34% and a return on equity of 11.59%. On average, research analysts predict that First Merchants will post 3.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Strs Ohio purchased a new position in First Merchants during the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $29,000. Pearl River Capital LLC purchased a new position in First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $42,000. Huntington National Bank lifted its position in First Merchants by 40.6% during the fourth quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,353 shares of the bank’s stock worth $46,000 after buying an additional 391 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. purchased a new position in First Merchants during the fourth quarter worth approximately $67,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.83% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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