Morgan Stanley lowered its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN) by 67.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 284,469 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 578,819 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley’s holdings in Bloomin’ Brands were worth $5,613,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its position in Bloomin’ Brands by 18.7% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 41,843 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $754,000 after buying an additional 6,597 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in Bloomin’ Brands by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 200,324 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,612,000 after buying an additional 8,067 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in Bloomin’ Brands by 28.9% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 34,482 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $680,000 after buying an additional 7,730 shares in the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Bloomin’ Brands during the first quarter valued at approximately $223,000. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in Bloomin’ Brands during the first quarter valued at approximately $2,449,000.

Shares of Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (BLMN) traded up 0.88% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $17.23. 95,896 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. has a 12-month low of $15.82 and a 12-month high of $22.16. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $20.60 and its 200-day moving average is $19.49. The stock has a market cap of $1.70 billion, a PE ratio of 19.10 and a beta of 0.72.

Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.28. Bloomin’ Brands had a net margin of 2.29% and a return on equity of 74.68%. The business had revenue of $1.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.04 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. will post $1.42 EPS for the current year.

Bloomin’ Brands announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, April 26th that permits the company to repurchase $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be paid a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.86%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 7th. Bloomin’ Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.56%.

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BLMN has been the topic of several recent research reports. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of Bloomin’ Brands from $20.00 to $21.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. TheStreet raised shares of Bloomin’ Brands from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Bloomin’ Brands from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered shares of Bloomin’ Brands from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $22.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, May 19th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Bloomin’ Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Bloomin’ Brands presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.86.

About Bloomin’ Brands

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc is a holding company. The Company owns and operates casual, upscale casual and fine dining restaurants. The Company operates through two segments: U.S. and International. The U.S. segment includes all brands operating in the United States. The International segment includes brands operating outside the United States.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Bloomin` Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN)

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