Traders Purchase High Volume of Put Options on Medifast (NYSE:MED)

Medifast Inc (NYSE:MED) saw some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock traders bought 1,146 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,691% compared to the typical daily volume of 64 put options.

In other news, Director Carl E. Sassano sold 850 shares of Medifast stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $143.94, for a total transaction of $122,349.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 17,792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,560,980.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 4.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MED. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Medifast by 1.8% during the 1st quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,635 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $591,000 after acquiring an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Medifast by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 2,844 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $356,000 after purchasing an additional 93 shares in the last quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System boosted its holdings in Medifast by 0.7% in the first quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 12,915 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,647,000 after purchasing an additional 93 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Medifast by 2.6% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 3,812 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $486,000 after purchasing an additional 96 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in Medifast by 41.8% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 339 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $42,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. 98.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on MED. ValuEngine raised XCel Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded HB Fuller from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 3rd.

MED stock traded up $0.21 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $113.74. The company had a trading volume of 319,059 shares, compared to its average volume of 229,582. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $126.85. The stock has a market cap of $1.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.62 and a beta of 0.75. Medifast has a fifty-two week low of $106.31 and a fifty-two week high of $260.98.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The specialty retailer reported $1.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.18. The business had revenue of $165.88 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $153.48 million. Medifast had a return on equity of 57.73% and a net margin of 11.32%. The business’s revenue was up 68.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Medifast will post 6.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 7th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 28th will be paid a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 27th. Medifast’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.94%.

About Medifast

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.

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