FirstMerit Earnings Preview

Investors braced for a bumpy ride ahead of FirstMerit's (Nasdaq: FMER  ) earnings announcement as the company has wavered between beating and falling short of analyst predictions during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday. FirstMerit provides a range of banking and investment services to corporate, institutional, and individual customers throughout northern and central Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on FirstMerit with nine of 14 analysts rating it hold. Analysts don't like FirstMerit as much as competitor TCF overall. Seven out of 19 analysts rate TCF a buy compared to four of 14 for FirstMerit. While analysts still rate the stock a hold, they are a little more optimistic about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $172.3 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 1.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.25 per share. Estimates range from $0.23 to $0.28.

What our community says:
Most CAPS All-Stars (63.9%) are awarding FMER an outperform rating. The majority of the Fools agree with the All-Stars, with 72.5% giving it an outperform rating. FirstMerit's bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management:
FirstMerit's profit has risen year-over-year by an average of 17.4% over the past five quarters. Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters.

Now let's get some insight into how efficient management is at running the business. Margins illustrate how efficiently a company captures portions of sales dollars. The company's net margins have risen for the last two quarters year-over-year. Net margins reflect what percentage of revenue becomes profit. Here are FirstMerit's reported margins for the last four quarters:

Quarter

Q4

Q3

Q2

Q1

Net Margin

15.9%

16.3%

16.1%

14.4%

For all our FirstMerit-specific analysis, including earnings and beyond, add FirstMerit to My Watchlist.

The Motley Fool owns shares of FirstMerit. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Earnings estimates provided by Zacks.

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