Maxim Group reiterated their buy rating on shares of Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) in a report published on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has a $49.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock.

“We reiterate our Buy rating and $49 price target on Brinker International (EAT) as we see Hurricanes Harvey and Irma leaving a measurable, though short- lived, impact on FY18 results.”,” the firm’s analyst commented.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on EAT. ValuEngine lowered shares of Brinker International from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded shares of Brinker International from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and decreased their target price for the company from $48.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Brinker International from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $40.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Brinker International from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Barclays PLC restated an equal weight rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $45.67.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) opened at 32.97 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.60 billion, a PE ratio of 11.21 and a beta of 0.26. Brinker International has a one year low of $29.50 and a one year high of $55.84. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $33.20 and a 200-day moving average price of $39.00.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 10th. The restaurant operator reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.04 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $810.66 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $809.94 million. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.79% and a negative return on equity of 31.46%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.24 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Brinker International will post $3.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.61%. This is a boost from Brinker International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. Brinker International’s payout ratio is currently 50.84%.

Brinker International announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, August 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $250.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Michael A. George bought 16,450 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $30.31 per share, with a total value of $498,599.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 49,952 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,514,045.12. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 1.76% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Brinker International by 5.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,874,194 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $223,806,000 after purchasing an additional 329,577 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Brinker International by 27.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,080,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $193,557,000 after purchasing an additional 1,104,999 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in shares of Brinker International by 33.8% during the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 2,236,357 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $98,310,000 after purchasing an additional 565,294 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Brinker International by 18.4% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,710,040 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $65,148,000 after purchasing an additional 265,437 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cooke & Bieler LP increased its stake in shares of Brinker International by 4.4% during the second quarter. Cooke & Bieler LP now owns 1,522,933 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $58,024,000 after purchasing an additional 64,780 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Brinker International (NYSE:EAT)

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