Zacks Investment Research Lowers Brinker International Inc. (EAT) to Hold
Brinker International Inc. (NYSE:EAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Brinker International’s aggressive expansion strategies and sales building initiatives, like menu innovation, promotional offerings along with introduction of loyalty program, should boost comps. Additionally, Brinker’s increased focus on company-owned restaurants, which allows it to have full control over operations, is likely to enhance the bottom as well as the top line. Various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives undertaken by the company should further drive growth. Moreover, the company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Estimates too have been mostly going up ahead of the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings release. However, the company’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in five of the trailing six quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. Further, higher costs and slow growth at international markets remain a cause of concern.”
Several other research firms have also weighed in on EAT. Argus reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. RBC Capital Markets reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $55.00 target price (up previously from $49.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Saturday, August 13th. Canaccord Genuity began coverage on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $56.00 target price for the company. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Brinker International from $49.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Brinker International has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.93.
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Shares of Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) traded down 1.09% on Friday, reaching $49.96. The company had a trading volume of 319,818 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.61 and a beta of 0.26. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $52.24 and its 200 day moving average is $47.95. Brinker International has a 52 week low of $43.20 and a 52 week high of $55.16.
Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 11th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.01. Brinker International had a net margin of 6.16% and a negative return on equity of 114.14%. The firm earned $881.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $881.43 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.94 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post $3.47 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 29th. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th were paid a dividend of $0.34 per share. This is a positive change from Brinker International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.69%. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 39.42%.
In related news, insider Wyman Roberts sold 41,722 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,211,266.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 114,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,081,538. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP David Roy Doyle sold 15,187 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction on Monday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.32, for a total value of $824,957.84. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 54,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,944,144. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.76% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in Brinker International by 19.9% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 6,023,056 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,759,000 after buying an additional 1,001,600 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 2,103.1% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 974,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,349,000 after buying an additional 929,857 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Brinker International during the second quarter valued at about $34,466,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 73.4% in the second quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,291,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $58,803,000 after buying an additional 546,497 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 35.0% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 2,007,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $91,401,000 after buying an additional 520,000 shares during the period.
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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