Medifast (MED) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Medifast (NYSE:MED) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

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 equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. DA Davidson raised their target price on shares of Medifast to $249.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Medifast from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th.

Shares of NYSE:MED opened at $212.33 on Thursday. Medifast has a twelve month low of $59.23 and a twelve month high of $260.98. The company has a market capitalization of $2.65 billion, a PE ratio of 92.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.31.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 2nd. The specialty retailer reported $1.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.18. Medifast had a net margin of 10.87% and a return on equity of 37.25%. The firm had revenue of $117.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $101.75 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.63 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 55.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Medifast will post 4.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 20th. Medifast’s payout ratio is 83.84%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Raymond James & Associates raised its stake in Medifast by 13.2% during the 2nd quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 2,569 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $411,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Medifast by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 7,827 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,254,000 after acquiring an additional 319 shares during the period. New York State Teachers Retirement System raised its stake in Medifast by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 11,811 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,892,000 after acquiring an additional 336 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its stake in Medifast by 11.8% during the 2nd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 3,793 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $607,000 after acquiring an additional 401 shares during the period. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC raised its stake in Medifast by 8.5% during the 1st quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 5,885 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $550,000 after acquiring an additional 460 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.54% of the company’s stock.

Medifast Company Profile

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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