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 morning. The firm currently has $56.00 price objective 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.”
A number of other research firms have also issued reports on EAT. Argus reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Brinker International in a report on Thursday, August 18th. RBC Capital Markets reissued a sector perform rating and issued a $55.00 price target (up previously from $49.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Saturday, August 13th. Canaccord Genuity began coverage on Brinker International in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. They issued a hold rating and a $56.00 price target on the stock. 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. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price target on Brinker International from $48.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, August 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Brinker International has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $53.93.
Shares of Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) traded up 0.62% on Wednesday, hitting $50.44. 269,298 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average is $52.34 and its 200 day moving average is $47.93. The stock has a market cap of $2.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.75 and a beta of 0.26. Brinker International has a one year low of $43.20 and a one year high of $55.16.
Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 11th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.23 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $881.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $881.43 million. Brinker International had a negative return on equity of 114.14% and a net margin of 6.16%. Brinker International’s revenue was up 15.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.94 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Brinker International will post $3.47 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 9th were given a $0.34 dividend. This is an increase from Brinker International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 7th. Brinker International’s payout ratio is currently 39.42%.
In other news, insider Wyman Roberts sold 41,722 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,211,266.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 114,746 shares in the company, valued at $6,081,538. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Krista M. Gibson sold 19,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.27, for a total value of $1,012,130.00. Following the sale, 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 owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its stake in Brinker International by 2.1% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 12,584 shares of the company’s stock worth $578,000 after buying an additional 263 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. boosted its stake in Brinker International by 5.9% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 44,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,054,000 after buying an additional 2,500 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Brinker International by 8.7% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 972,830 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,702,000 after buying an additional 78,210 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Brinker International by 44.3% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 189,283 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,698,000 after buying an additional 58,069 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Brinker International by 194.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 65,223 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,997,000 after buying an additional 43,068 shares in 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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