Medifast Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:MED …

Medifast Inc (NYSE:MED) saw unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders purchased 1,952 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,675% compared to the average volume of 110 call options.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Medifast by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,708,118 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $219,152,000 after acquiring an additional 16,839 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Medifast by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 933,215 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $102,262,000 after buying an additional 10,600 shares in the last quarter. Engaged Capital LLC acquired a new position in Medifast in the third quarter valued at about $53,113,000. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC boosted its position in Medifast by 24.6% in the fourth quarter. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC now owns 426,292 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $46,713,000 after buying an additional 84,082 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its position in Medifast by 34.4% in the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 393,548 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $40,783,000 after buying an additional 100,817 shares in the last quarter. 97.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on MED shares. DA Davidson downgraded shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $250.00 to $74.00 in a report on Friday, November 8th. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $130.00 to $90.00 in a report on Thursday. Dougherty & Co downgraded shares of Medifast from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, November 8th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Medifast from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Medifast from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Medifast currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $124.00.

NYSE MED opened at $84.41 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $1.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.91 and a beta of 0.71. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $105.02 and its 200 day simple moving average is $100.87. Medifast has a twelve month low of $66.50 and a twelve month high of $159.41.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 26th. The specialty retailer reported $1.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.59. Medifast had a net margin of 10.70% and a return on equity of 62.93%. As a group, equities analysts predict that Medifast will post 5.84 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 6th. Investors of record on Friday, December 27th were paid a $1.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 26th. This represents a $4.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.35%. This is a boost from Medifast’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. Medifast’s payout ratio is presently 97.84%.

Medifast Company Profile

Medifast, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and distributes weight loss, weight management, healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. It offers bars, bites, pretzels, puffs, oatmeal and cereal crunch products, drinks, hearty choices, pancakes, puddings, soft serves, shakes, smoothies, soft bakes, and soups under the Medifast, OPTAVIA, Thrive by Medifast, Optimal Health by OPTAVIA, Flavors of Home, and Essential 1 brands.

See Also: Golden Cross

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.

All copyrights for this article are reserved to This Publisher