Media stories about Medifast (NYSE:MED) have been trending somewhat negative on Friday, according to AlphaOne Sentiment. AlphaOne, a subsidiary of Accern, identifies negative and positive press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources. AlphaOne ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Medifast earned a media sentiment score of -0.04 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned news stories about the specialty retailer an impact score of 63 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the news stories that may have impacted AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:

Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Medifast from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, March 24th.

Shares of Medifast (NYSE:MED) traded up 0.38% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $44.60. 88,181 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $43.63 and a 200-day moving average of $41.84. The stock has a market cap of $531.01 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.93 and a beta of 0.54. Medifast has a 52-week low of $29.84 and a 52-week high of $46.36.

Medifast (NYSE:MED) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 9th. The specialty retailer reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.01. Medifast had a return on equity of 24.64% and a net margin of 6.43%. The firm had revenue of $62.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $65.01 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.33 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Medifast will post $2.05 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 23rd will be given a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 21st. Medifast’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.91%.

In other Medifast news, Director Glenn W. Welling bought 17,084 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 14th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $41.33 per share, for a total transaction of $706,081.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,309 shares in the company, valued at approximately $219,420.97. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 6.47% of the company’s stock.

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Medifast Company Profile

Medifast, Inc is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of weight loss, weight management and healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. Medifast product lines include weight loss, weight management, and healthy living meal replacements, snacks, hydration products and vitamins.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MED

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