Middleby (MIDD) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Middleby's first-quarter 2019 earnings and revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. Over the past six months, the company’s shares have outperformed the industry. Solid demand from chain restaurant customers, strength in Viking business and efforts to broaden its product portfolio, technologies and manufacturing capabilities are expected to boost Middleby's revenues in the quarters ahead. It also believes that its strategic business acquisitions will prove beneficial. However, the company's shares currently look overvalued compared with the industry. Persistent lower sales due to absence of large customer orders within the meat processing business remains a concern for the company. Rising costs of sales remain a concern for its near-term margins. Also, rise in debt levels can increase its financial obligations. Moreover, adverse foreign exchange impact is a persistent concern.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub downgraded Middleby from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. CL King upgraded Middleby from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $160.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on Middleby in a research report on Wednesday, April 3rd. They set a hold rating and a $135.00 price objective for the company. Robert W. Baird upgraded Middleby from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $142.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Middleby to $150.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $147.43.

Middleby stock opened at $138.24 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 1.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.66 and a beta of 1.79. Middleby has a 12 month low of $96.65 and a 12 month high of $139.24.

Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The industrial products company reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.01. Middleby had a return on equity of 21.91% and a net margin of 11.35%. The firm had revenue of $686.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $683.01 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.20 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 17.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Middleby will post 6.92 EPS for the current year.

In other Middleby news, Director Chapin Sarah Palisi sold 300 shares of Middleby stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.18, for a total value of $37,254.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $633,318. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John R. Miller III sold 2,000 shares of Middleby stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.37, for a total value of $252,740.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 16,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,021,920. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.98% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MIDD. Man Group plc acquired a new position in Middleby in the third quarter valued at $464,000. AQR Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Middleby in the third quarter valued at $252,000. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in Middleby by 2.5% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 236,260 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $30,561,000 after purchasing an additional 5,746 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA acquired a new position in Middleby in the third quarter valued at $5,865,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc increased its stake in Middleby by 1.0% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 4,755,844 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $615,168,000 after purchasing an additional 47,899 shares during the period.

Middleby Company Profile

The Middleby Corporation designs, manufactures, markets, distributes, and services foodservice, food processing, and residential kitchen equipment in the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Its Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group segment offers foodservice equipment for quick and full-service restaurants, convenience stores, retail outlets, hotels, and other institutions.

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