Shares of cooking equipment manufacturer Middleby (NASDAQ: MIDD ) have been struck low over the last few days after announcing first-quarter earnings. This is a bit surprising considering that earnings were actually pretty good; Middleby beat estimates on the sales side, though it did come in light on the earnings front. Unfortunately, following the earnings announcement, Baird lowered its price target on the company, sending its share price further downward.
Middleby has enjoyed a lot of attention recently following its acquisition of Viking, a high-end residential cooking equipment maker. This was one of the biggest acquisitions the company has ever made, and was essentially a way to get into the residential market, which presents a tremendous opportunity for Middleby. The problem is with the costs that come with the acquisition, including integrating Viking's large distribution network, which is forcing Middleby to sell off inventory for cheaper than it usually would. In the short run, this will continue to hurt Middleby's gross margin.
But is that reason enough for investors to stay away? On today's "Stock of the Day", Motley Fool analyst Jason Moser says no way. In the long run, he thinks Middleby's margins will creep back up and it will once again have the pricing power it has long enjoyed. On top of all that, Jason is very bullish about Middleby's "kitchen of the future" and its deals with Famous Dave's and Chilis.
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