Insider buying: Director of Medifast, Inc. (NYSE: MED) buys 266 shares

Medifast, Inc. (NYSE: MEDGet a rating) Director Jeffrey J. Brown acquired 266 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Friday, February 4. The stock was purchased at an average price of $186.40 per share, for a total transaction of $49,582.40. Following the purchase, the director now owns 35,223 shares of the company, valued at approximately $6,565,567.20. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this link.

Shares of NYSE MED traded at $8.22 during Thursday’s trading, reaching $186.70. The company had a trading volume of 89,803 shares, compared to an average volume of 123,890. Medifast, Inc. has a 12-month low of $161.44 and a 12-month high of $336.99. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $180.36 and a 200-day simple moving average of $196.24. The company has a market capitalization of $2.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.44 and a beta of 1.41.

Medifast (NYSE: MEDGet a rating) last announced its results on Wednesday, February 23. The specialty retailer reported earnings per share of $2.91 for the quarter, beating Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $2.67 by $0.24. Medifast had a net margin of 10.75% and a return on equity of 85.40%. The company posted revenue of $377.80 million for the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $375.79 million. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $2.36. The company’s revenue for the quarter increased 42.6% year over year. Equity analysts expect Medifast, Inc. to post EPS of 15.41 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 9. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 29 will receive a dividend of $1.64. This is a boost from Medifast’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.42. This represents a dividend of $6.56 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.51%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 28. Medifast’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.23%.

MED has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. DA Davidson reduced its target price on Medifast from $349.00 to $341.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a Thursday, February 24 research note. upgraded Medifast shares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a Thursday, March 24, report.

Institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the stock. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Medifast shares by 31.4% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 45,150 shares of the specialty retailer worth $5,758,000 after acquiring an additional 10,792 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Medifast shares by 15.7% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 152,020 shares of the specialty retailer worth $43,019,000 after acquiring an additional 20,606 shares last quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D increased its equity stake in Medifast by 53.9% during Q3. New Jersey State Joint Pension Fund D now owns 12,064 shares of the specialty retailer worth $2,324,000 after acquiring 4,224 additional shares in the last quarter. Vontobel Holding NV increased its stake in Medifast shares by 100.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vontobel Holding Ltd. now owns 2,000 shares of the specialty retailer worth $385,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services LLC increased its stake in Medifast by 17.5% in the third quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 5,732 shares of the specialty retailer valued at $1,104,000 after buying an additional 854 shares last quarter. 86.88% of the shares are held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Medifast (Get a rating)

Medifast, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and distributes weight loss, weight management, healthy living, and other consumable health and nutritional products in the United States and Asia-Pacific. The Company offers bars, bites, pretzels, puffs, cereal crunches, beverages, hearty choices, oatmeal, pancakes, pudding, soft drinks, shakes, smoothies, soft pastries and soups under OPTAVIA, Optimal Health by Take Shape for Life, and Private Label Flavors.

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Insider buying and selling by quarter for Medifast (NYSE:MED)

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