Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Medifast Inc (NYSE:MED) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $79.00 price target on the 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 research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. DA Davidson assumed coverage on shares of Medifast in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. They issued a buy rating for the company. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Medifast from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. Finally, Sidoti restated a neutral rating and set a $55.00 price objective (up from $49.00) on shares of Medifast in a research note on Thursday, September 21st.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) opened at C$69.28 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $826.76, a PE ratio of 34.13, a P/E/G ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.45. Medifast has a 12 month low of C$37.67 and a 12 month high of C$71.73.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported C$0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of C$0.51 by C$0.04. The company had revenue of C$77.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of C$74.94 million. Medifast had a net margin of 8.58% and a return on equity of 24.07%. Medifast’s quarterly revenue was up 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.51 EPS. equities analysts expect that Medifast will post 2.17 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 22nd were paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 21st. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.85%. Medifast’s dividend payout ratio is currently 63.05%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MED. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Medifast during the 2nd quarter valued at about $108,000. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in Medifast by 95.9% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 3,922 shares of the company’s stock valued at $163,000 after purchasing an additional 1,920 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Medifast by 86.2% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,189 shares of the company’s stock valued at $174,000 after purchasing an additional 1,939 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Medifast during the 2nd quarter valued at about $203,000. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. bought a new stake in Medifast during the 1st quarter valued at about $218,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.67% of the company’s stock.

Medifast Company Profile

Medifast, Inc produces, distributes and sells weight loss, weight management, and healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. The Company’s product lines include weight loss, weight management, and healthy living meal replacements, snacks, hydration products, and vitamins.

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