The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ:MIDD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, Middleby’s shares outperformed the Zacks categorized Machinery-General Industrial industry. Middleby is currently undertaking consistent efforts to launch innovative products and anticipates that higher demand for these would reinforce near-term revenues. The company is strategically improving its profitability on the back of lower costs and greater operational efficiency. Owing to these bullish factors, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has been revised upwards for 2017, over the last 60 days.  However, unfavorable input price fluctuations, stiff industry rivalry, a stronger U.S. dollar and weak energy resource prices might limit growth.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. William Blair reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of The Middleby Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, January 4th. Macquarie lowered The Middleby Corporation from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $155.00 to $150.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $131.00.

Analyst Recommendations for The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ:MIDD)

Shares of The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ:MIDD) traded up 2.16% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $134.72. The company had a trading volume of 99,613 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $7.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.34 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $134.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $123.96. The Middleby Corporation has a one year low of $79.11 and a one year high of $143.60.

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In other news, Director Robert B. Lamb sold 3,422 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.83, for a total value of $464,810.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 15,078 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,048,044.74. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Philip G. Putnam sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $139.58, for a total value of $348,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,870,372. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised its position in shares of The Middleby Corporation by 171.0% in the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 1,222,994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,950,000 after buying an additional 771,730 shares in the last quarter. Fiera Capital Corp raised its position in shares of The Middleby Corporation by 37.7% in the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 1,634,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $188,384,000 after buying an additional 447,822 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado raised its position in shares of The Middleby Corporation by 2,957.6% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 420,324 shares of the company’s stock valued at $48,442,000 after buying an additional 406,577 shares in the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC raised its position in shares of The Middleby Corporation by 644.2% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 293,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,831,000 after buying an additional 254,095 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Calamos Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of The Middleby Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $23,355,000. 93.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About The Middleby Corporation

The Middleby Corporation (Middleby) is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of commercial foodservice, food processing equipment and residential kitchen equipment. The Company operates in three segments: the Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group, the Food Processing Equipment Group and the Residential Kitchen Equipment Group.

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