Price Action Report: First Merchants Corporation Sets 52-Week High; Strong Momentum for Holders

Price Action Report: First Merchants Corporation Sets 52 Week High; Strong Momentum for Holders

The stock of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) hit a new 52-week high and has $37.15 target or 9.00% above today’s $34.08 share price. The 6 months bullish chart indicates low risk for the $1.39B company. The 1-year high was reported on Nov, 28 by Barchart.com. If the $37.15 price target is reached, the company will be worth $125.10 million more.
The 52-week high event is an important milestone for every stock because it shows very positive momentum and is time when buyers come in. During such notable technical setup, fundamental investors usually stay away and are careful shorting or selling the stock. About 51,379 shares traded hands. First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) has risen 39.31% since April 25, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 33.29% the S&P500.

Analysts await First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) to report earnings on January, 26. They expect $0.50 earnings per share, up 35.14% or $0.13 from last year’s $0.37 per share. FRME’s profit will be $20.39M for 17.04 P/E if the $0.50 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.51 actual earnings per share reported by First Merchants Corporation for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -1.96% negative EPS growth.

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) Ratings Coverage

Out of 3 analysts covering First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME), 2 rate it a “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 1 “Hold”. This means 67% are positive. $30 is the highest target while $27.50 is the lowest. The $28.75 average target is -15.64% below today’s ($34.08) stock price. First Merchants has been the topic of 7 analyst reports since August 18, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. The stock has “Overweight” rating given by Stephens on Friday, January 29. The stock of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) earned “Sell” rating by Zacks on Tuesday, August 18. DA Davidson maintained it with “Buy” rating and $30 target price in Wednesday, September 28 report. The stock of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) has “Buy” rating given on Thursday, July 21 by DA Davidson. As per Wednesday, December 16, the company rating was initiated by SunTrust. The company was initiated on Friday, October 2 by Stephens.

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

Insitutional Activity: The institutional sentiment increased to 1.56 in Q2 2016. Its up 0.46, from 1.1 in 2016Q1. The ratio increased, as 6 funds sold all First Merchants Corporation shares owned while 44 reduced positions. 8 funds bought stakes while 47 increased positions. They now own 30.26 million shares or 0.92% less from 30.54 million shares in 2016Q1.
Metropolitan Life Ins Communication New York holds 0.01% of its portfolio in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) for 29,615 shares. First Merchants Corp, a Indiana-based fund reported 14,046 shares. Springbok Capital Management last reported 0% of its portfolio in the stock. Smith Asset Mngmt Lp has 0% invested in the company for 592 shares. Royal Financial Bank Of Canada holds 46,462 shares or 0% of its portfolio. Blackrock Investment Management Ltd Com accumulated 166,152 shares or 0.01% of the stock. Rhumbline Advisers, a Massachusetts-based fund reported 49,815 shares. Nordea Inv Management Ab has 0.01% invested in the company for 119,781 shares. Qs Invsts Lc holds 192,082 shares or 0.04% of its portfolio. The Florida-based State Board Of Administration Of Florida Retirement Sys has invested 0% in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME). Veritable L P has 18,641 shares for 0.01% of their US portfolio. The Washington-based Parametric Assoc Ltd has invested 0% in First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME). Sei Company last reported 404 shares in the company. Blackrock Fund Advsr holds 957,812 shares or 0.01% of its portfolio. Allianz Asset Ag reported 1.03 million shares or 0.01% of all its holdings.

Insider Transactions: Since June 1, 2016, the stock had 10 buys, and 3 selling transactions for $475,200 net activity. 19 shares with value of $506 were bought by Sherman Patrick A on Friday, September 30. 3,500 shares were sold by Stewart Michael J, worth $95,324. Lehman Gary bought $1,656 worth of stock or 61 shares. $296 worth of shares were bought by LORENTSON JEFFREY B on Friday, July 1. $134,587 worth of shares were sold by MARTIN JOHN on Thursday, August 18. Shares for $255,170 were sold by HARDWICK MARK K.

More recent First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) news were published by: Businesswire.com which released: “First Merchants Corporation Announces a 7% Increase in Cash Dividend” on November 16, 2016. Also Streetinsider.com published the news titled: “Form 8-K FIRST MERCHANTS CORP For: Nov 10” on November 10, 2016. Businesswire.com‘s news article titled: “First Merchants Corporation to Report Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results …” with publication date: May 02, 2016 was also an interesting one.

FRME Company Profile

First Merchants Corporation, incorporated on September 20, 1982, is a financial holding company. The Firm has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank, National Association (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, Ameriana Bank, Ameriana Financial Services and First Merchants Trust Company as divisions of First Merchants Bank, N.A. The Bank includes approximately 120 banking locations in approximately 30 Indiana, over two Illinois and over two Ohio counties. In addition to its branch network, the Company’s delivery channels include automated teller machines, check cards, remote deposit capture, interactive voice response systems and Internet technology. The Company, through the Bank, offers a range of financial services, including accepting time deposits, savings and demand deposits; making consumer, commercial, agri-business and real estate mortgage loans; renting safe deposit facilities; providing personal and corporate trust services; providing full-service brokerage, and providing other corporate services, letters of credit and repurchase agreements.

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