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Middleby Buys RAM Fry Dispensers, Enhances Product Portfolio

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The Middleby Corporation (MIDD - Free Report) recently announced that it has completed the buyout of RAM Fry Dispensers — a subsidiary of Red Wing, MN-based Automated Equipment LLC.  Financial terms of the transactions were kept under wraps.

RAM Fry Dispensers is engaged in manufacturing automated frozen fry dispensing equipment. Touted as user friendly, durable and cost-effective, the company’s high-quality dispensers are mainly used in the restaurant chain market throughout the world. The company’s automated fry dispenser offers users an accurate portion control, enabling them to lower food and labor costs.

Notably, the buyout is expected to strengthen Middleby’s product offering in the restaurant automation platform. As noted by the company, the deal will complement its advanced fryer brands and it will work on further developing and integrating the RAM solutions with its current products.

Other Inorganic Moves

One of the notable acquisitions made by Middleby is that of Seattle-based Synesso in December 2019. The transaction is expected to strengthen the company’s product offering in the beverage and coffee platform. Also, in November 2019, it completed the acquisition of Redwood City, CA-based Brava Home Inc — a specialist in providing advanced technology for residential cooking. The buyout is likely to enhance the company’s product offering in the commercial and residential businesses.

In addition, in July 2019, Middleby acquired Packaging Progressions, Inc., which has been strengthening its product offering related to processing technologies. Further, it bought Santa Ana, CA-based Ss Brewtech in June 2019, and Newton, MA-based Powerhouse Dynamics, Inc in April 2019.

Notably, the acquired assets boosted the company’s sales by 5.8% in the third quarter of 2019.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Middleby, which has a market cap of roughly $6.2 billion, currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Analysts have become increasingly bearish about the company over the past 60 days. Its earnings estimates for fourth-quarter 2019 have decreased from $1.81 to $1.80 and the same for first-quarter 2020 has moved down from $1.66 to $1.62.

In the past six months, the company’s shares have lost 20.3% against the industry’s growth of 7.2%.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks from the same space are IDEX Corporation (IEX - Free Report) , Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS - Free Report) and Parker-Hannifin Corporation (PH - Free Report) . All these companies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

IDEX delivered positive earnings surprise of 3.26%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Chart Industries delivered positive earnings surprise of 4.01%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Parker-Hannifin delivered positive earnings surprise of 5.29%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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