Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) Will Post Earnings of $0.87 Per Share

Wall Street brokerages expect First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating) to post earnings of $0.87 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have provided estimates for First Merchants’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.86 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.89. First Merchants posted earnings per share of $0.91 during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 4.4%. The company is expected to announce its next earnings report before the market opens on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full year earnings of $3.74 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.60 to $3.83. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $4.36 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.14 to $4.47. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRMEGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 27th. The bank reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $127.12 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $134.63 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 36.97% and a return on equity of 11.02%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.83 EPS.

Several research firms recently commented on FRME. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, April 4th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of First Merchants in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, First Merchants currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $47.00.

NASDAQ FRME traded up $0.34 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $40.19. 4,857 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 256,003. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.16 billion, a PE ratio of 10.46 and a beta of 1.10. First Merchants has a fifty-two week low of $37.67 and a fifty-two week high of $48.70. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $42.38 and its 200-day simple moving average is $42.47.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 18th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 4th were issued a dividend of $0.29 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 3rd. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.89%. First Merchants’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.45%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Lazard Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of First Merchants in the fourth quarter worth about $27,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of First Merchants in the third quarter worth $41,000. Signaturefd LLC increased its position in First Merchants by 144.6% during the third quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 1,639 shares of the bank’s stock worth $69,000 after acquiring an additional 969 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in First Merchants during the 1st quarter valued at $151,000. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new stake in First Merchants in the 3rd quarter valued at $201,000. Institutional investors own 71.98% of the company’s stock.

About First Merchants (Get Rating)

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 public finance. 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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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