Junius
Long/short equity, medium-term horizon, value, growth

First Merchants Corporation Benefits From Growing Scale And Continued Earnings Growth

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) is a small cap regional banking group headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. This banking group may lack the scale of many of its competitors, but it has rapidly improved its profitability since the financial downturn, by maintaining wide net interest margins and keeping a lid on rising costs. With a market capitalisation of less than $800 million, the bank's small size means it has much to gain from cost efficiency through scale economies. To build regional scale, the bank has a two pronged growth strategy, which includes robust organic growth from a relatively low base and aggressive regional acquisitions. Together with robust economic growth in Indiana and an attractive valuation, First Merchants Corporation remains a...

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