Medifast (NYSE:MED) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Medifast (NYSE:MED) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Saturday, January 13th. The brokerage currently has a $81.00 target price on the specialty retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 21.97% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Medifast is a leading manufacturer and distributor of clinically proven healthy living products and programs. It is the brand recommended by more than 20,000 Doctors. Medifast produces, distributes, and sells weight loss and other health-related products through websites, multi-level marketing, telemarketing, franchised weight loss clinics, and medical professionals. The company launched OPTAVIA, an exclusive brand and product line sold through its community of independent Coaches who offer support and guidance to their Clients. In partnership with OPTAVIA Coaches , franchise partners, resellers and its Scientific Advisory Board, Medifast offers comprehensive wellness products and programs that focus on creating sustainable change by helping people learn to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. DA Davidson lifted their target price on shares of Medifast to $89.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Sidoti reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up from $49.00) on shares of Medifast in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $75.00.

Shares of Medifast (NYSE MED) traded up $0.20 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $66.41. 17,268 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 85,711. Medifast has a 1-year low of $40.00 and a 1-year high of $74.78. The firm has a market capitalization of $798.36, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 0.54.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $77.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $74.94 million. Medifast had a net margin of 8.58% and a return on equity of 24.07%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.51 earnings per share. analysts predict that Medifast will post 2.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Glenn W. Welling sold 250,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $16,250,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Glenn W. Welling sold 275,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.60, for a total transaction of $17,765,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 5.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MED. American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in shares of Medifast by 60.8% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 301,115 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $17,877,000 after purchasing an additional 113,885 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in Medifast by 217.1% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 158,813 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $9,468,000 after acquiring an additional 108,736 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in Medifast by 81.7% in the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 166,311 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $9,874,000 after acquiring an additional 74,802 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Medifast by 197.0% during the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 89,606 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $3,716,000 after purchasing an additional 59,437 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC boosted its stake in shares of Medifast by 663.2% during the 4th quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 68,020 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $4,749,000 after purchasing an additional 59,107 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.93% of the company’s stock.

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Medifast Company Profile

Medifast, Inc produces, distributes and sells weight loss, weight management, and healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. The Company’s product lines include weight loss, weight management, and healthy living meal replacements, snacks, hydration products, and vitamins.

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