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Middleby (MIDD) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

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Shares of The Middleby (MIDD - Free Report) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 10% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $188.68 in the previous session. The Middleby has gained 45.7% since the start of the year compared to the 12.6% move for the Zacks Industrial Products sector and the 7.4% return for the Zacks Manufacturing - General Industrial industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on May 6, 2021, Middleby reported EPS of $1.79 versus consensus estimate of $1.63 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 4.12%.

For the current fiscal year, Middleby is expected to post earnings of $8.08 per share on $3.26 billion in revenues. This represents a 62.9% change in EPS on a 29.71% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $9.17 per share on $3.45 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 13.51% and 5.8%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Middleby may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Middleby has a Value Score of D. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and A, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 23.3X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 27.2X versus its peer group's average of 16X. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Middleby currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Middleby fits the bill. Thus, it seems as though Middleby shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.

How Does Middleby Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of Middleby have been soaring, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also looking good, including Flowserve (FLS - Free Report) , Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT - Free Report) , and Dover (DOV - Free Report) , all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.

The Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 36% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for Middleby, even beyond its own solid fundamental situation.

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