Medifast (NYSE:MED) Trading 9.4% Higher

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Medifast Inc (NYSE:MED) shares traded up 9.4% on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $88.75 and last traded at $88.66, 734,152 shares were traded during trading. An increase of 137% from the average session volume of 310,319 shares. The stock had previously closed at $81.04.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. DA Davidson cut shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $250.00 to $74.00 in a report on Friday, November 8th. ValuEngine cut shares of Medifast from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 8th. Dougherty & Co cut shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, November 8th. Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on shares of Medifast in a report on Thursday, July 25th. They set a “buy” rating and a $130.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Medifast from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $134.00.

The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $98.49 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $114.25. The stock has a market capitalization of $940.87 million, a PE ratio of 19.19 and a beta of 0.71.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 7th. The specialty retailer reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.01). Medifast had a net margin of 10.70% and a return on equity of 62.93%. The company had revenue of $190.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $194.70 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.14 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 36.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Medifast Inc will post 5.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a — dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 7th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 27th were issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 26th. This represents a yield of 2.8%. Medifast’s dividend payout ratio is currently 64.94%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Medifast by 31.4% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 45,150 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $5,758,000 after purchasing an additional 10,792 shares in the last quarter. Ingalls & Snyder LLC increased its stake in Medifast by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Ingalls & Snyder LLC now owns 58,183 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $7,465,000 after buying an additional 1,378 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new position in Medifast in the 2nd quarter worth about $505,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in Medifast by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,735 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $608,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management UK Ltd. increased its stake in Medifast by 18.2% in the 2nd quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management UK Ltd. now owns 6,500 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $834,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. 98.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Medifast (NYSE:MED)

Medifast, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and distributes weight loss, weight management, healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. It offers bars, bites, pretzels, puffs, oatmeal and cereal crunch products, drinks, hearty choices, pancakes, puddings, soft serves, shakes, smoothies, soft bakes, and soups under the Medifast, OPTAVIA, Thrive by Medifast, Optimal Health by OPTAVIA, Flavors of Home, and Essential 1 brands.

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