Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Medifast (NYSE:MED) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Saturday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $97.00 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock.
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. “
Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in 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 upgraded shares of Medifast from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $86.67.
Medifast (NYSE:MED) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, March 6th. The specialty retailer reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $78.01 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $73.48 million. Medifast had a net margin of 9.19% and a return on equity of 26.39%. The company’s revenue was up 24.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.34 earnings per share. analysts expect that Medifast will post 3.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Director Michael C. Macdonald sold 20,000 shares of Medifast stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.45, for a total value of $1,689,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 334,188 shares in the company, valued at $28,222,176.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 5.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Medifast by 2.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 657,254 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $27,256,000 after acquiring an additional 13,982 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in Medifast by 36.2% during the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,706 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $339,000 after acquiring an additional 1,517 shares in the last quarter. Cigna Investments Inc. New purchased a new position in Medifast during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $207,000. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its stake in Medifast by 3.7% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 69,135 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $4,105,000 after acquiring an additional 2,435 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Medifast by 217.1% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 158,813 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $9,468,000 after purchasing an additional 108,736 shares during the last quarter. 88.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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