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Bull of the Day: Medifast Inc. (MED)

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Medifast Inc. (MED - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is a leading manufacturer and distributor of clinically proven healthy living products and programs. It is the brand recommended by more than 20,000 Doctors. Medifast produces, distributes, and sells weight loss and other health-related products through websites, multi-level marketing, telemarketing, franchised weight loss clinics, and medical professionals.

Recent Earnings Data

The company reported Q4 17 results on March 6th, where it beat the Zacks consensus earnings and revenue estimates for the third consecutive quarter.  On a year over year basis, earnings grew by +76.5%, and revenues improved by +24.8%.  Further, gross profits rose by +25.5% while net income grew by +78.1%. Also, due to the new tax law, the company’s effective tax rate fell from 38.2% to 25.4%.  

Looking Forward

The big long-term growth driver for the company is OPTAVIA, and the Coaches.  OPTAVIA has four components that help the customer achieve a “lifelong transformation.”  There is the OPTAVIA Coach, who gives support and guidance, the Habits of Health which help the customer learn and adopt new healthy habits, the OPTAIVA Community who helps with support alongside the Coach, and its Fuelings and Plans which are the daily meals.  In the most recently reported quarter, OPTAVIA revenues grew by +32.4%, the ninth consecutive quarter of growth, and the amount of Coaches increased to 15,000 from 12,500 YoY.  Further, the average revenue per active earning OPTAVIA Coach improved by +9.7%.  Management’s long term goal is to have 30,000 Health Coaches by the end of 2019 which would be a growth level of 50% over the next two years.  

Due to the strong customer response, management increased Q1 18 revenues and EPS estimates above consensus.  Operating profits are now expected to improve by +27% YoY (previous was +19% growth), and sales to gain between +25%-30%.  Management also increased FY 18 EPS and sales guidance; EPS is now expected to be between $3.15-3.25 (above consensus estimate of $2.73), and sales are pegged to grow between 16-19% (above consensus of 11%).  

Management’s Take

According to Dan Chard, CEO, “Our financial results exceeded our expectations and we are pleased to report a strong finish to the year with revenue through our OPTAVIA Coaches model generating record growth.  Looking ahead, our OPTAVIA coach community is now stronger than ever and very well-positioned to build upon the current business momentum as they share our mission of offering the world lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time.”

Price and Earnings Consensus Graph

As you can see in the graph below, the stock price has been doing great since the middle of 2017, and has continued to rise after its last earnings report.

MEDIFAST INC Price and Consensus

MEDIFAST INC Price and Consensus | MEDIFAST INC Quote

Increasing Earnings Estimates

Due to the impressive OPTAVIA data, and the increase in Q1 and FY 18 guidance, earnings estimates for Q1 18, Q2 18, FY 18, and FY 19 have all see positive estimate revisions; Q1 18 rose from $0.61 to $0.86, Q2 18 improved from $0.74 to $0.92, FY 18 jumped up from $2.60 to $3.25, and FY 19 was lifted from $3.26 to $4.00.

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