Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT)’s share price rose 5.4% on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $34.86 and last traded at $34.79. Approximately 1,389,805 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 3% from the average daily volume of 1,427,483 shares. The stock had previously closed at $33.01.

EAT has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Brinker International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, October 13th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Brinker International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Telsey Advisory Group decreased their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Finally, Stephens decreased their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $40.00 to $34.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Two equities 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’s stock. Brinker International currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $40.50.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.51. The company has a market capitalization of $1,610.44, a PE ratio of 11.01, a P/E/G ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 0.16.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by ($0.01). Brinker International had a negative return on equity of 30.36% and a net margin of 4.39%. The company had revenue of $739.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $749.05 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Brinker International, Inc. will post 3.22 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.14%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 54.87%.

Brinker International announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, August 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Brinker International news, Director Michael A. George acquired 16,450 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $30.31 per share, with a total value of $498,599.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 49,952 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,514,045.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Charles A. Lousignont sold 3,364 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total transaction of $111,012.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $497,442. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.91% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of EAT. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Brinker International by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,198,052 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $45,647,000 after buying an additional 9,729 shares in the last quarter. Airain ltd purchased a new position in shares of Brinker International during the 2nd quarter valued at $2,031,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in shares of Brinker International by 87.6% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 109,883 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,187,000 after buying an additional 51,313 shares in the last quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Brinker International by 348.9% during the 2nd quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 421,534 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $16,060,000 after buying an additional 327,637 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Brinker International by 27.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,080,271 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $193,557,000 after buying an additional 1,104,999 shares in the last quarter.

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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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