Medifast Inc (MED) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Medifast Inc (NYSE:MED) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $79.00 target price 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. “

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Sidoti reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up previously from $49.00) on shares of Medifast in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. BidaskClub raised Medifast from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Finally, DA Davidson raised their price target on Medifast from $65.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 15th.

Medifast (NYSE MED) opened at $66.93 on Friday. Medifast has a fifty-two week low of $38.29 and a fifty-two week high of $71.73. The stock has a market cap of $826.76, a P/E ratio of 34.13, a PEG ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.45.

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

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 9th. Investors of record on Friday, September 22nd were paid a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 21st. Medifast’s payout ratio is 63.05%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Medifast by 1.5% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 669,999 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $39,778,000 after acquiring an additional 10,103 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Medifast by 2.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 657,254 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $27,256,000 after acquiring an additional 13,982 shares during the period. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Medifast by 4.8% in the second quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 398,063 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $16,508,000 after acquiring an additional 18,183 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its position in Medifast by 3.5% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 322,325 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $13,367,000 after buying an additional 10,854 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in Medifast by 60.8% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 301,115 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $17,877,000 after buying an additional 113,885 shares during the period. 90.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Medifast Company Profile

Medifast, Inc is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of weight loss, weight management and healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. Medifast product lines include weight loss, weight management, and healthy living meal replacements, snacks, hydration products and vitamins.

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