Medifast (NYSE:MED) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $79.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.71% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on MED. Sidoti reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up from $49.00) on shares of Medifast in a report on Thursday, September 21st. DA Davidson upped their price target on shares of Medifast from $65.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.33.

Shares of Medifast (NYSE MED) opened at $70.09 on Friday. Medifast has a 1-year low of $40.00 and a 1-year high of $74.78. The firm has a market cap of $836.43, a PE ratio of 34.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.50.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $77.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $74.94 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.51 EPS. Medifast’s revenue was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Medifast will post 2.17 EPS for the current year.

In other Medifast news, Director Glenn W. Welling sold 275,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.60, for a total transaction of $17,765,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Glenn W. Welling sold 250,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $16,250,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.47% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MED. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Medifast during the second quarter valued at about $108,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its stake in Medifast by 248.2% during the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,354 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 1,678 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. lifted its stake in Medifast by 95.9% during the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $163,000 after buying an additional 1,920 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in Medifast by 86.2% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,189 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $174,000 after buying an additional 1,939 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AHL Partners LLP purchased a new stake in Medifast during the second quarter valued at about $241,000. 86.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: This news story was posted by Watch List News and is the sole property of of Watch List News. If you are viewing this news story on another site, it was copied illegally and republished in violation of US and international trademark & copyright law. The original version of this news story can be viewed at https://www.watchlistnews.com/medifast-med-upgraded-at-zacks-investment-research/1797669.html.

About Medifast

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Medifast (MED)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Medifast Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Medifast and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.