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Here's Why It is Appropriate to Retain Middleby (MIDD) Now

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The Middleby Corporation (MIDD - Free Report) has been benefiting from robust product portfolio and accretive acquisitions despite weakness in the Residential Kitchen Equipment Group segment and rising debt levels.

What’s Aiding MIDD?

New Product Introduction: Middleby remains focused on launching new products and upgrading the existing ones per the industry trend. Regarding innovation, over the past year, the company introduced several products, including Blodgett ImVection, the Evo EVent Open Canopy Hood, PIZZABOT, TorQ, Discrete CFV, etc. Middleby has been gaining market share in new and large product categories, including beverage and ice. It remains positioned to benefit from strong demand for ventless and electrified cooking products in the quarters ahead.

Expansion Efforts: Middleby believes in expanding its market presence, solidifying its customer base and enhancing product offerings through acquisitions. Acquired assets boosted sales 0.4% year over year in the first quarter. In February 2024, the company acquired Germany-based GBT GmbH Bakery Technology. The buyout complemented Middleby’s existing bakery brands and strengthened its European presence in large-scale baking.

The company acquired Trade-Wind Manufacturing LLC in August 2023. The buyout complemented Middleby’s indoor and outdoor residential cooking brands and allowed it to offer its customers a broader portfolio of exciting designs and solutions. The acquisition of TERRY Water Treatment Solutions (July 2023) bolstered its commercial food service operations. In June 2023, the company acquired Filtration Automation Inc., which boosted its food processing portfolio and expanded its frying system offerings.

Middleby’s acquisition of Flavor Burst (January 2023) boosted its existing product offerings in the beverage group. The acquisition of Marco Beverage Systems in December 2022 strengthened the company's existing beverage portfolio and expanded its cold brew dispensers, coffee brewers, and a variety of hot, cold and sparkling water dispenser offerings. The November 2022 acquisition of Escher Mixers helped reduce production costs and eliminate the usage of dough additives to produce premium quality bakery items with a longer shelf life by leveraging Escher’s automated dough mixing solutions and line capacity utilization.

Rewards to Shareholders: MIDD is committed to rewarding its shareholders handsomely. In 2023, it repurchased common shares worth $74.6 million. It is worth noting that the company remains open to repurchasing common shares opportunistically.

In light of the above-mentioned positives, we believe investors should retain MIDD stock for now, as suggested by its Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked companies from the Industrial Products sector are discussed below.

Greif, Inc. (GEF - Free Report) presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). It has a trailing four-quarter average earnings surprise of 150.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GEF’s fiscal 2024 earnings has improved 5.3% in the past 60 days. The stock has risen 7.2% in the past year.

Belden Inc. (BDC - Free Report) presently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 and has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 14.7%, on average.

The consensus estimate for BDC’s 2024 earnings has increased 8.3% in the past 60 days. Shares of Belden have gained 10% in the past year.

Crane Company (CR - Free Report) presently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. CR delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.2%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CR’s 2024 earnings has increased 4% in the past 60 days. Its shares have gained 101.2% in the past year.

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

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