Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, March 7th.
According to Zacks, “Brinker’s aggressive expansion strategies and sales building initiatives like streamlining of menu and innovation value offerings along with its loyalty program should boost comps. Increased focus on company-owned restaurants, which allows it to have full control over operations, is also expected to boost the bottom as well as the top line. Also, various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives are likely to drive growth. The company’s shares outperformed the industry in the past six months. Meanwhile, estimates for 2018 have gone up 4.3% over the last 60 days. However, the company’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in 10 of the trailing 12 quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. Further, higher labor as well as costs related to various initiatives might hurt margins, while overall choppiness in the restaurant space might keep on pressurizing comps in the upcoming quarters.”
A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on EAT. Telsey Advisory Group reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $39.00 target price (up from $37.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Barclays lifted their price target on shares of Brinker International from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $39.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Brinker International has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $41.08.
Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The restaurant operator reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.15. The business had revenue of $766.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $773.84 million. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.10% and a negative return on equity of 30.98%. Brinker International’s quarterly revenue was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.71 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post 3.44 EPS for the current year.
In related news, VP Michaela M. Ware sold 830 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.08, for a total value of $28,286.40. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $278,808.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Andres Tinajero sold 200,000 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $0.57, for a total transaction of $114,000.00. 1.91% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Hodges Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Brinker International in the fourth quarter worth $206,000. Investors Research Corp purchased a new position in shares of Brinker International in the fourth quarter worth $218,000. Eqis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Brinker International in the fourth quarter worth $227,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in shares of Brinker International in the fourth quarter worth $240,000. Finally, Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Brinker International in the third quarter worth $221,000.
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Brinker International Company Profile
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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