Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,577,500 shares, a decrease of 5.9% from the July 31st total of 14,431,800 shares. Approximately 36.9% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,090,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 12.5 days.

In other news, EVP Kelly C. Baltes acquired 850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 16th. The stock was bought at an average price of $38.00 per share, for a total transaction of $32,300.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 13,984 shares in the company, valued at $531,392. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Michaela M. Ware sold 968 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.41, for a total transaction of $38,148.88. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 9,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $393,035.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 13,112 shares of company stock valued at $523,720. 2.72% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Brinker International by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,064,022 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $277,970,000 after acquiring an additional 417,228 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Brinker International by 5.1% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,180,556 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $203,853,000 after acquiring an additional 251,037 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in Brinker International by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,736,748 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $106,842,000 after acquiring an additional 151,578 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its stake in Brinker International by 93.8% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,163,988 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $45,803,000 after acquiring an additional 563,511 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ grew its stake in Brinker International by 446.4% in the 2nd quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 874,765 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $34,422,000 after acquiring an additional 714,665 shares during the last quarter.

A number of equities analysts have commented on EAT shares. KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Tuesday, July 23rd. They set a “sector weight” rating and a $45.00 price objective for the company. Evercore ISI restated a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Tuesday, August 13th. Telsey Advisory Group upgraded shares of Brinker International from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $47.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 12th. UBS Group upgraded shares of Brinker International from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $39.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, June 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Brinker International from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $43.94.

Shares of EAT traded up $1.30 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $43.50. The company had a trading volume of 1,081,833 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,218,241. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $39.36 and a 200-day simple moving average of $40.98. The company has a market capitalization of $1.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.07, a PEG ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.23. Brinker International has a 12-month low of $36.44 and a 12-month high of $53.61.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 13th. The restaurant operator reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $834.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $834.69 million. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.81% and a negative return on equity of 18.81%. The business’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Brinker International will post 4.15 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be issued a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 5th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.49%. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.68%.

Brinker International Company Profile

Brinker International, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, owns, develops, operates, and franchises casual dining restaurants in the United States and internationally. As of June 27, 2018, it owned, operated, or franchised 1,686 restaurants comprising 997 company-owned restaurants and 689 franchised restaurants under the Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy brand names.

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