Brinker International Inc. (EAT) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Brinker International Inc. (NYSE:EAT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday. They currently have $56.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Brinker International’s aggressive expansion strategies and sales building initiatives, like menu innovation, promotional offerings along with introduction of loyalty program, should boost comps. Additionally, Brinker’s increased focus on company-owned restaurants, which allows it to have full control over operations, is likely to enhance the bottom as well as the top line. Various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives undertaken by the company should further drive growth. Moreover, the company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Estimates too have been mostly going up ahead of the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings release. However, the company’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in five of the trailing six quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. Further, higher costs and slow growth at international markets remain a cause of concern.”
Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. RBC Capital Markets reissued a sector perform rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up from $49.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Saturday, August 13th. Sterne Agee CRT reissued a buy rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Monday, June 13th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Telsey Advisory Group raised their price target on shares of Brinker International from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a buy rating and issued a $56.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $53.93.
Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) traded up 0.62% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $50.44. 269,298 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Brinker International has a 1-year low of $43.20 and a 1-year high of $55.16. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $52.34 and its 200-day moving average is $47.93. The company has a market capitalization of $2.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.75 and a beta of 0.26.
Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 11th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $881.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $881.43 million. Brinker International had a net margin of 6.16% and a negative return on equity of 114.14%. The company’s revenue was up 15.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Brinker International will post $3.47 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 9th were issued a $0.34 dividend. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.71%. This is a positive change from Brinker International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 7th. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio is 39.42%.
In other news, insider Steve Provost sold 11,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.56, for a total transaction of $600,160.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 23,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,260,336. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Krista M. Gibson sold 19,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.27, for a total transaction of $1,012,130.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 37,225 shares in the company, valued at $1,982,975.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.76% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EAT. Bruderman Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Brinker International by 82.5% in the second quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 2,551 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 1,153 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Brinker International during the first quarter valued at $129,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Brinker International by 59.4% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,402 shares of the company’s stock valued at $155,000 after buying an additional 1,268 shares during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Brinker International during the second quarter valued at $173,000. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised its position in shares of Brinker International by 400.2% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 4,367 shares of the company’s stock valued at $198,000 after buying an additional 3,494 shares during the last quarter.
About Brinker International
Brinker International, Inc is engaged in the ownership, operation, development, and franchising of the Chili’s Grill & Bar (Chili’s) and Maggiano’s Little Italy (Maggiano’s) restaurant brands. The Company’s Chili’s operates Bar & Grill category of casual dining. Chili’s menu features authentic Fresh Mex and Fresh Tex cuisine, including signature items, such as Baby Back Ribs smoked in-house, Hand-Crafted Burgers served with house-made garlic dill pickles, Mix and Match Fajitas, Tableside Guacamole and house-made Chips and Salsa.
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