Medifast (NYSE:MED) Sees Large Volume Increase

Shares of Medifast, Inc. (NYSE:MED) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 17,410 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 86% from the previous session’s volume of 121,109 shares.The stock last traded at $195.29 and had previously closed at $190.33.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on MED shares. DA Davidson reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a C$395.00 target price on shares of Medifast in a report on Monday, August 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $200.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, October 5th.

The firm has a market cap of $2.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.43 and a beta of 1.39. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $219.51 and its 200 day moving average is $253.37.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 4th. The specialty retailer reported $3.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.30 by $0.66. Medifast had a net margin of 11.84% and a return on equity of 90.26%. The firm had revenue of $394.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $359.25 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.86 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 79.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Medifast, Inc. will post 13.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 8th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 21st will be paid a dividend of $1.42 per share. This represents a $5.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 20th. Medifast’s payout ratio is currently 62.14%.

In related news, Director Jeffrey J. Brown acquired 142 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 6th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $286.16 per share, with a total value of $40,634.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 765 shares in the company, valued at approximately $218,912.40. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Kevin G. Byrnes sold 673 shares of Medifast stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $221.99, for a total transaction of $149,399.27. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 8,154 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,810,106.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. grew its stake in Medifast by 26.5% in the 1st quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. now owns 191 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $40,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp purchased a new position in Medifast in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $48,000. Van ECK Associates Corp purchased a new position in Medifast in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $49,000. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its stake in Medifast by 1,175.0% in the 1st quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 255 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $54,000 after buying an additional 235 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Investments Inc. purchased a new position in Medifast in the 1st quarter worth approximately $59,000. 84.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Medifast Company Profile (NYSE:MED)

Medifast, Inc engages in the provision of healthy living products and programs. It offers the OPTAVIA brand-a highly competitive and effective lifestyle solution centered on developing new healthy habits through smaller, foundational changes called micro-habits. The company was founded by William Vitale in 1981 and is headquartered in Baltimore, MD.

See Also: Trading Options- What is a Strangle?

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.