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BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) was upgraded by Zacks from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report released on Thursday. The firm currently has a $43.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 20.41% from the company’s current price.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We upgrade our recommendation on BJ’s Restaurants Inc. to Outperform from Neutral mainly driven by improved second-quarter 2014 results. Earnings of $0.30 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 25% attributable to improvement in restaurant level margin. Further, revenues were up year over year driven by increased total operating weeks. However, earnings declined 3.2% owing to higher costs and expenses. Nevertheless, we are encouraged by BJ’s Restaurants’ prudent expansion initiatives to drive comps growth. Additionally, the company’s marketing and operational initiatives as well as prudent menu price adjustments are expected to boost sales in the upcoming quarters. The company also remains committed to its target of achieving restaurant level margin of 19.0%, primarily driven by cost savings initiatives focused on non-strategic restaurant operating cost and support.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of BJ's Restaurants in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $43.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $38.00. Separately, analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of BJ's Restaurants in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $28.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $25.00. Finally, analysts at Barclays reiterated an “underweight” rating on shares of BJ's Restaurants in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $28.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $27.00. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. BJ's Restaurants presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $32.13.

In other BJ's Restaurants news, VP Alex Puchner unloaded 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.50, for a total value of $177,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Shares of BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) traded down 1.40% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $35.2093. The stock had a trading volume of 161,924 shares. BJ's Restaurants has a one year low of $25.11 and a one year high of $36.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $34.18 and its 200-day moving average is $31.76. The company has a market cap of $990.6 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 60.42.

BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 24th. The company reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $219.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $219.25 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.32 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that BJ's Restaurants will post $0.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc (NASDAQ:BJRI) owns and operates restaurants.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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