Valeo Financial Advisors LLC Trims Stock Position in First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME)

Valeo Financial Advisors LLC lowered its stake in shares of First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) by 78.8% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 1,371 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 5,099 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC’s holdings in First Merchants were worth $52,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Captrust Financial Advisors boosted its stake in First Merchants by 148.5% during the second quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 656 shares of the bank’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 392 shares during the last quarter. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new position in First Merchants during the second quarter worth $125,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in First Merchants by 38.7% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,991 shares of the bank’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in First Merchants during the first quarter worth $151,000. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. boosted its stake in First Merchants by 321.5% during the first quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 5,758 shares of the bank’s stock worth $212,000 after buying an additional 4,392 shares during the last quarter. 74.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other First Merchants news, SVP Stephan Fluhler sold 3,873 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.98, for a total value of $150,969.54. Also, Director Charles E. Schalliol sold 7,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total value of $277,254.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of First Merchants stock traded down $0.07 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $41.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 87,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 200,774. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $38.41 and a 200-day moving average of $37.10. The stock has a market cap of $2.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.84 and a beta of 1.05. First Merchants Co. has a twelve month low of $32.49 and a twelve month high of $42.82. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.91.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.08. First Merchants had a return on equity of 10.88% and a net margin of 29.88%. The firm had revenue of $111.05 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $109.87 million. On average, sell-side analysts expect that First Merchants Co. will post 3.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on FRME shares. BidaskClub raised First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 31st. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 1st. Raymond James boosted their price objective on First Merchants from $39.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 25th. Finally, ValuEngine raised First Merchants from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.50.

About First Merchants

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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