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

According to Zacks, “Middleby has been steadily improving its business on the back of product portfolio solidification and greater operational efficacy. The company intends to finance several capital deployment programs with free cash generated from operating activities. Moreover, the Middleby’s latest acquisitions are also estimated to improve its revenue and earnings growth trajectory in the near term. Owing to these bullish factors, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has been revised upwards for both 2016 and 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 equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Wellington Shields upgraded shares of The Middleby Corp. from a “hold” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on shares of The Middleby Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. They set a “hold” rating and a $123.00 target price on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $126.80.

Analyst Recommendations for The Middleby Corp. (NASDAQ:MIDD)

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The Middleby Corp. (NASDAQ:MIDD) traded up 0.76% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $117.81. 65,477 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $6.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 1.45. The Middleby Corp. has a 52-week low of $79.11 and a 52-week high of $140.98. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $124.81 and a 200 day moving average price of $118.47.

The Middleby Corp. (NASDAQ:MIDD) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 10th. The company reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.17. The Middleby Corp. had a net margin of 10.89% and a return on equity of 20.50%. On average, equities analysts expect that The Middleby Corp. will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MIDD. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of The Middleby Corp. by 79.0% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 4,797,791 shares of the company’s stock valued at $512,260,000 after buying an additional 2,117,133 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised its stake in The Middleby Corp. 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. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new stake in The Middleby Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $63,243,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in The Middleby Corp. by 40.8% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,595,112 shares of the company’s stock valued at $183,837,000 after buying an additional 462,257 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp raised its stake in The Middleby Corp. 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. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.09% of the company’s stock.

About The Middleby Corp.

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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