Medifast, Inc. (NYSE:MED – Get Rating) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, March 16th, Zacks reports. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 28th will be given a dividend of 1.65 per share by the specialty retailer on Tuesday, May 9th. This represents a $6.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.42%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 27th. This is an increase from Medifast’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.64.
Medifast has raised its dividend by an average of 24.7% annually over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 2 consecutive years. Medifast has a payout ratio of 56.0% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Medifast to earn $11.44 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $6.56 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 57.3%.
Medifast Stock Performance
Shares of NYSE MED traded down $1.71 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $102.75. 385,377 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 201,269. The company’s fifty day moving average is $112.96 and its two-hundred day moving average is $115.51. Medifast has a fifty-two week low of $96.00 and a fifty-two week high of $197.19. The stock has a market cap of $1.11 billion, a PE ratio of 8.10 and a beta of 1.16.
Insider Buying and Selling at Medifast
Institutional Trading of Medifast
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MED. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Medifast by 6.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,134,513 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $364,532,000 after purchasing an additional 138,602 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Medifast by 1.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,521,936 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $259,916,000 after acquiring an additional 22,630 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in Medifast by 0.9% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 377,972 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $68,839,000 after acquiring an additional 3,404 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in shares of Medifast by 2.0% during the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 290,807 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $33,545,000 after acquiring an additional 5,826 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Medifast by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 218,203 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $25,169,000 after purchasing an additional 789 shares during the last quarter. 86.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
A number of equities analysts have recently commented on MED shares. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Medifast in a research report on Thursday. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. DA Davidson dropped their target price on shares of Medifast from $106.00 to $94.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 22nd.
Medifast Company Profile
Medifast, Inc engages in the provision of healthy living products and programs. It offers the OPTAVIA brand, a lifestyle solution centered on developing new healthy habits through smaller, foundational changes called micro-habits. The firm’s product line includes bars, bites, pretzels, puffs, cereal crunch, drinks, hearty choices, oatmeal, pancakes, pudding, soft serve, shakes, smoothies, soft bakes, and soups.
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