Middleby (MIDD) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning. The firm currently has $154.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the last month, Middleby's shares underperformed the industry. The company reported mixed results for third-quarter 2017. Quarterly earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.5%, but revenues surpassed the same by 0.9%. The company expects that higher revenues generated from the latest business acquisitions, new product portfolio solidification investments and business expansion in new emerging markets will strengthen results in the quarters ahead. However, lower sales of the AGA Group business might continue to hurt performance of the company's Residential Kitchen Equipment segment. Moreover, cost associated with ongoing acquisition integration initiatives and restructuring moves might dent profitability. Heightening industry rivalry is also another cause of concern. Over the last 30 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has remained unchanged for 2018.”

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Middleby from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Deutsche Bank lowered their price target on shares of Middleby from $120.00 to $110.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 17th. Citigroup lowered their price target on shares of Middleby from $132.00 to $120.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 10th. BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on shares of Middleby from $150.00 to $145.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares assumed coverage on shares of Middleby in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. They set a positive rating and a $141.00 price target for the company. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $138.56.

Shares of Middleby (NASDAQ MIDD) traded up $2.02 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $135.73. 779,495 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 448,311. The firm has a market capitalization of $7,590.00, a P/E ratio of 25.51 and a beta of 1.88. The company has a quick ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 1.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. Middleby has a 52 week low of $107.53 and a 52 week high of $150.87.

Middleby announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase 2,500,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the industrial products company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Treasurer Martin M. Lindsay sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.50, for a total value of $1,295,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the treasurer now directly owns 61,726 shares in the company, valued at $7,993,517. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MIDD. Fiduciary Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Middleby in the second quarter valued at $143,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in Middleby during the second quarter valued at $154,000. Zions Bancorporation bought a new stake in Middleby during the third quarter valued at $198,000. Fulton Bank N.A. bought a new stake in Middleby during the third quarter valued at $209,000. Finally, Ironwood Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Middleby during the third quarter valued at $229,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.08% of the company’s stock.

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About Middleby

The Middleby Corporation is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of commercial foodservice, food processing equipment and residential kitchen equipment. The Company operates in three segments: the Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group, the Food Processing Equipment Group and the Residential Kitchen Equipment Group.

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