Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on The Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD)

The Middleby Co. (NASDAQ:MIDD) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock investors bought 525 call options on the company. This is an increase of 855% compared to the average volume of 55 call options.

Shares of MIDD stock opened at $179.14 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 2.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $165.70 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $137.52. The Middleby has a 12-month low of $49.11 and a 12-month high of $185.54. The firm has a market cap of $9.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.48 and a beta of 1.77.

The Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD) last issued its earnings results on Sunday, February 28th. The industrial products company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $729.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $694.90 million. The Middleby had a return on equity of 15.18% and a net margin of 10.28%. The Middleby’s revenue was down 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.00 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that The Middleby will post 4.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of brokerages have commented on MIDD. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on The Middleby from $150.00 to $225.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 9th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their target price on The Middleby from $190.00 to $220.00 in a research report on Thursday. Robert W. Baird upped their target price on The Middleby from $192.00 to $195.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, April 16th. CL King upgraded The Middleby from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, KeyCorp upped their price objective on The Middleby from $195.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $175.56.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of The Middleby by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,555,824 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $587,335,000 after acquiring an additional 31,083 shares during the period. Fiera Capital Corp lifted its holdings in The Middleby by 7.1% in the 4th quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 1,588,547 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $204,796,000 after purchasing an additional 104,839 shares in the last quarter. Sarasin & Partners LLP lifted its holdings in The Middleby by 1,413.3% in the 4th quarter. Sarasin & Partners LLP now owns 1,301,470 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $167,786,000 after purchasing an additional 1,215,470 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD lifted its holdings in The Middleby by 8.7% in the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 1,161,514 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $149,742,000 after purchasing an additional 93,408 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its holdings in shares of The Middleby by 13.2% during the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,090,832 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $140,630,000 after acquiring an additional 127,374 shares in the last quarter.

The Middleby Company Profile

The Middleby Corp. engages in the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of foodservice equipment. It operates through the following segments: Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group, Food Processing Equipment Group, Residential Kitchen Equipment Group, and Corporate and Other. The Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group segment manufactures, sells, and distributes foodservice equipment for the restaurant and institutional kitchen industry.

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