Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Cracker barrel is focused on increasing its brand’s relevance at both restaurants and retail stores through enhanced marketing efforts, menu innovation and new retail merchandise. Seasonal promotions and efforts to improve guest experience are also expected to drive incremental sales for the company. Moreover, its new fast casual concept, Holler & Dash Biscuit House, is anticipated to be a key long-term growth driver. Meanwhile, expansion of units and cost saving initiatives seem to bode well. Notably, the fiscal third quarter marked the 24th successive earnings beat for the company. However, a challenging macro environment and limited geographic diversity remain potent headwinds. Additionally, higher costs are expected to weigh on margins, moving ahead. In fact, shares of the company have underperformed the industry year to date. Estimates too have been going down ahead of its first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings release.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Maxim Group reiterated a hold rating and issued a $155.00 target price (down from $170.00) on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Bank of America Corporation lowered their target price on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store from $150.00 to $140.00 and set an underperform rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Nomura assumed coverage on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. They issued a neutral rating and a $162.00 price target for the company. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a hold rating and issued a $136.00 price target on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have given a hold rating to the stock. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $161.00.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ CBRL) opened at $154.64 on Wednesday. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has a 12 month low of $141.75 and a 12 month high of $175.04. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market cap of $3,725.90, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.45, a P/E/G ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.48.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, September 13th. The restaurant operator reported $2.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.18 by $0.05. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store had a net margin of 6.90% and a return on equity of 35.49%. The business had revenue of $743.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $746.72 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.12 EPS. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will post 8.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 13th were issued a $1.20 dividend. This represents a $4.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 12th. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.28%.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Friday, September 29th that allows the company to buyback $25.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Andrea Weiss sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.39, for a total transaction of $306,780.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 11,758 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,803,559.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Sandra B. Cochran sold 36,794 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.67, for a total transaction of $5,580,545.98. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 157,591 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $23,901,826.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.86% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CBRL. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store during the 2nd quarter worth about $100,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store during the 2nd quarter worth about $111,000. Ffcm LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 1,317.9% during the 3rd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 794 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 738 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 9.0% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 738 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $123,000 after acquiring an additional 61 shares during the period. Finally, San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA bought a new position in shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store during the 2nd quarter worth about $127,000. 86.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc is engaged in the operation and development of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store concept (Cracker Barrel). The Company’s segments include Restaurant and Retail. As of September 19, 2016, the Company operated 640 Cracker Barrel stores in 43 states. The format of its stores consists of a rustic old country-store design offering a restaurant menu that features home-style country food and a range of decorative and functional items, such as rocking chairs, holiday and seasonal gifts and toys, apparel, cookware and foods.

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