Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BJ’s Restaurants have outperformed the industry in the past month and we are further encouraged after the company posted better-than-expected results in the first quarter of 2019. Its extensive focus on refining and streamlining its menu is the key driver for improved traffic. It is also investing heavily in technology-driven initiatives like digital ordering to boost sales. BJ’s Restaurants is committed to improving operating margins through cost-containment initiatives. The company is focusing more on its smaller prototype restaurants that cost roughly $1 million less than the prior prototype. However, high operating costs are expected to continue hurting profits. Its high vulnerability to the inconsistent nature of consumer discretionary spending and limited international exposure add to the woes.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on BJRI. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price target on BJ’s Restaurants from $56.00 to $54.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. BidaskClub raised BJ’s Restaurants from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Maxim Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $84.00 price objective on shares of BJ’s Restaurants in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. ValuEngine lowered BJ’s Restaurants from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, February 25th. Finally, Stephens lowered their price objective on BJ’s Restaurants from $80.00 to $70.00 and set an in-line rating for the company in a report on Friday, February 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. BJ’s Restaurants currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $65.20.

NASDAQ:BJRI opened at $45.58 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.39. BJ’s Restaurants has a one year low of $43.96 and a one year high of $76.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $945.06 million, a P/E ratio of 19.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.82.

BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The restaurant operator reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.09. BJ’s Restaurants had a return on equity of 15.86% and a net margin of 4.34%. The business had revenue of $290.55 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $289.49 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.70 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that BJ’s Restaurants will post 2.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 27th. Investors of record on Monday, May 13th will be issued a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 10th. BJ’s Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.43%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. FNY Investment Advisers LLC bought a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Somerset Trust Co grew its holdings in shares of BJ’s Restaurants by 133.1% during the first quarter. Somerset Trust Co now owns 795 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 454 shares during the last quarter. Cresset Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $53,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $72,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in shares of BJ’s Restaurants by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,578 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $80,000 after purchasing an additional 357 shares during the last quarter.

About BJ’s Restaurants

BJ's Restaurants, Inc owns and operates casual dining restaurants in the United States. Its restaurants offer pizzas, craft and other beers, appetizers, entrées, pastas, sandwiches, specialty salads, and desserts. As of April 16, 2019, the company owned and operated 204 casual dining restaurants that offer dine-in, take-out, delivery, and party catering services in 27 states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

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