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From left: Medifast Chairman and CEO Michael MacDonald, Medifast General Counsel Jason Groves, and Garvis Toler III, NYSE's global head of capital markets. (Photo submitted by Medifast).

Medifast to offer sports nutrition line, rings bell at NYSE

Medifast is moving into the “sports nutrition space” this year by offering a line of shakes and bars, said Chairman and CEO Michael MacDonald.

Owings Mills-based Medifast will be partnering with a major university and a sports company — MacDonald won’t say who yet — on the project; a formal announcement is expected later this month, he said.

MacDonald shared the latest about the company, which offers meals and snacks designed to promote weight-loss and healthy living, from New York on Thursday.

There, executives from Medifast celebrated the new year — a few days after the fact — by ringing the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange.

“They called us because we’re one of the well-known public weight-loss companies,” said MacDonald. “It was nice.”

MacDonald added another area of focus in 2016 will be growing Medifast’s coaching network.

The company also announced Thursday a new, national ad campaign called “Your Year,” aimed at showing customers what their own weight loss would look like, rather than just looking at the results achieved by others.

Medifast announced last month it intends to pay a regular quarterly cash dividend to its stockholders. The initial quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share is payable Feb. 10 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 28, 2015, according to a news release.