Morgan Stanley Reaffirms “Equal Weight” Rating for El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO)

El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO)‘s stock had its “equal weight” rating restated by analysts at Morgan Stanley in a research report issued on Monday, March 12th. They currently have a $11.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $12.00. Morgan Stanley’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 14.58% from the stock’s previous close.

LOCO has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub upgraded El Pollo LoCo from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded El Pollo LoCo from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $11.00 price target on El Pollo LoCo and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $12.40.

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Shares of LOCO traded down $0.20 on Monday, reaching $9.60. 198,563 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 450,372. The stock has a market cap of $378.89, a PE ratio of 15.24, a P/E/G ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a current ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. El Pollo LoCo has a 12 month low of $9.05 and a 12 month high of $14.85.

El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 8th. The restaurant operator reported $0.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.10 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $95.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $95.24 million. El Pollo LoCo had a return on equity of 9.00% and a net margin of 2.15%. El Pollo LoCo’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.12 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that El Pollo LoCo will post 0.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in LOCO. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in El Pollo LoCo by 2.5% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 18,582 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $258,000 after acquiring an additional 462 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in El Pollo LoCo by 2.7% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 229,947 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,185,000 after acquiring an additional 6,072 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in El Pollo LoCo by 14.0% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 41,411 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $574,000 after acquiring an additional 5,096 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in El Pollo LoCo by 23.0% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 526,346 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $7,290,000 after acquiring an additional 98,391 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp grew its position in El Pollo LoCo by 4.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 436,807 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $6,052,000 after acquiring an additional 19,343 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.92% of the company’s stock.

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About El Pollo LoCo

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiary El Pollo Loco, Inc, develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name. The company specializes in offering flame-grilled chicken. As of March 8, 2018, it had approximately 475 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.

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