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

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. DA Davidson boosted their price objective on shares of Medifast from $65.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. ValuEngine cut shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Sidoti restated a “neutral” rating and set a $55.00 target price (up from $49.00) on shares of Medifast in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.33.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) traded down $0.48 on Friday, hitting $70.09. 91,100 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 113,500. Medifast has a 1 year low of $40.00 and a 1 year high of $74.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $842.16, a PE ratio of 34.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.50.

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

In related news, Director Glenn W. Welling sold 250,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $16,250,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Glenn W. Welling sold 275,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.60, for a total transaction of $17,765,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 6.47% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in shares of Medifast by 13.7% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 16,600 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $688,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Medifast by 197.0% in the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 89,606 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $3,716,000 after purchasing an additional 59,437 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Medifast by 2.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 657,254 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $27,256,000 after purchasing an additional 13,982 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Medifast by 36.2% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,706 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $339,000 after purchasing an additional 1,517 shares during the period. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Medifast in the third quarter worth approximately $506,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.91% of the company’s stock.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: This piece of content was posted by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are reading this piece of content on another website, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of United States and international trademark and copyright laws. The legal version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/05/medifast-med-upgraded-to-buy-at-zacks-investment-research.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 MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.