Medifast Inc. (NYSE:MED) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The stock traded as high as $37.92 and last traded at $37.64, with a volume of 41,337 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $37.02.

Several research analysts have issued reports on MED shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Medifast from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $39.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 11th. Wunderlich lifted their price target on shares of Medifast from $32.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th.

The company has a market capitalization of $445.13 million, a PE ratio of 26.36 and a beta of 0.63. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $36.09 and its 200-day moving average is $33.00.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $71.14 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $72.01 million. Medifast had a net margin of 6.29% and a return on equity of 24.46%. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.53 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Medifast Inc. will post $1.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 23rd will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 21st. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. Medifast’s payout ratio is 69.44%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Medifast by 10.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 827,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,994,000 after buying an additional 81,600 shares during the last quarter. Numeric Investors LLC raised its stake in shares of Medifast by 4.4% in the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 665,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,137,000 after buying an additional 28,296 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Medifast by 1.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 659,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,938,000 after buying an additional 10,130 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Medifast by 5.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 587,590 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,550,000 after buying an additional 28,111 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Medifast by 11.4% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 562,135 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,702,000 after buying an additional 57,326 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.47% of the company’s stock.

About Medifast

Medifast, Inc (Medifast) is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of weight loss, weight management and healthy living products, and other consumable health and diet products. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, Jason Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Take Shape For Life, Inc, Jason Enterprises, Inc, Medifast Franchise Systems (MFSI), Inc, Jason Properties, LLC, Medifast Nutrition, Inc and Seven Crondall, LLC.

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