Zacks Investment Research Lowers BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) to Hold

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BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday, September 17th.

According to Zacks, “BJ’s Restaurants’ shares have outperformed the industry in the past year. We are optimistic about the company’s growth, as diverse sales-driving efforts bolstered its top-line performance in the second quarter of 2018. BJ's Restaurants delivered positive earnings surprises in 14 out of the last 17 quarters. Results were driven by improved comps and restaurant operating margins. BJ Restaurants’ high-quality slow-roasted menu has been favoring growth in foot traffic while daily Brewhouse Specials are contributing directly to the company’s top line. Apart from menu innovation, its cost containment initiatives are improving margins. Moreover, earnings estimates for the current year have inched up over the past two months, reflecting analysts’ confidence on its future potential. However, high costs and limited international presence raise concerns.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of BJ’s Restaurants from $47.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “$63.80” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. BidaskClub raised shares of BJ’s Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 14th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their target price on shares of BJ’s Restaurants from $60.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Stephens reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of BJ’s Restaurants in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Finally, Maxim Group began coverage on shares of BJ’s Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, August 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $81.00 target price for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $62.55.

Shares of BJ’s Restaurants stock traded up $1.24 on Monday, reaching $66.75. The stock had a trading volume of 756,260 shares, compared to its average volume of 396,282. The company has a quick ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 0.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. BJ’s Restaurants has a 1 year low of $29.40 and a 1 year high of $76.50. The company has a market cap of $1.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 47.34, a PEG ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.80.

BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by $0.15. BJ’s Restaurants had a net margin of 5.35% and a return on equity of 15.76%. The firm had revenue of $287.63 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $283.22 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.49 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that BJ’s Restaurants will post 2.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other BJ’s Restaurants news, insider Alex Puchner sold 3,907 shares of BJ’s Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.63, for a total transaction of $244,695.41. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 4,480 shares in the company, valued at approximately $280,582.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Noah A. Elbogen sold 888 shares of BJ’s Restaurants stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.05, for a total transaction of $67,532.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 301,614 shares of company stock valued at $21,777,152. Company insiders own 6.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BJRI. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS purchased a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $230,000. Bessemer Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $234,000. Teacher Retirement System of Texas purchased a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $249,000. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $250,000. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of BJ’s Restaurants during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $255,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.27% of the company’s stock.

About BJ’s Restaurants

BJ's Restaurants, Inc owns and operates casual dining restaurants in the United States. Its restaurants offer pizzas, craft and other beers, appetizers, entrées, pastas, sandwiches, specialty salads, and desserts. As of September 4, 2018, the company owned and operated 201 casual dining restaurants located in the 27 states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

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