The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Cheesecake Factory’s differentiated menu, operational distinction and unique ambiance appeal to customers. The company's several initiatives to boost sales and traffic volume like menu innovation, roll out of an improved server training program, launch of mobile payment app and increased focus on delivery service should help in future comps growth. However, the company’s profits have been under pressure owing to a rise in rates of wages. Higher labor and pre-openings costs coupled with expenses related to sales initiatives are likely to continue to hurt margins. Notably, Cheesecake Factory’s shares have underperformed the industry year to date. Estimates for the current quarter and year have also moved downward over the past 60 days, reflecting analyst's concern. Underperformance by Grand Lux Cafe further adds to the woes. Also, a lowered fiscal 2017 outlook due to a challenging U.S. restaurant space raises caution.”

Several other analysts have also commented on CAKE. Wedbush initiated coverage on The Cheesecake Factory in a research note on Monday, July 10th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $57.00 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Nomura initiated coverage on The Cheesecake Factory in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Instinet initiated coverage on The Cheesecake Factory in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Barclays PLC decreased their price target on The Cheesecake Factory from $56.00 to $53.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of The Cheesecake Factory in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The Cheesecake Factory has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.35.

Shares of The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) traded up 1.63% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $44.90. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,785,135 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $41.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.99. The Cheesecake Factory has a 52-week low of $38.34 and a 52-week high of $67.14. The company has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.70 and a beta of 0.32.

The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $569.87 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $573.12 million. The Cheesecake Factory had a return on equity of 22.92% and a net margin of 6.10%. The Cheesecake Factory’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.78 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that The Cheesecake Factory will post $2.65 EPS for the current year.

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Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new stake in shares of The Cheesecake Factory during the second quarter worth $353,000. Hendershot Investments Inc. raised its position in shares of The Cheesecake Factory by 4.3% during the second quarter. Hendershot Investments Inc. now owns 69,805 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,511,000 after acquiring an additional 2,865 shares during the last quarter. Sciencast Management LP bought a new stake in shares of The Cheesecake Factory during the second quarter worth $357,000. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of The Cheesecake Factory by 11.3% during the second quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 1,587,785 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $79,866,000 after acquiring an additional 161,779 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bridgewater Associates LP bought a new stake in shares of The Cheesecake Factory during the second quarter worth $606,000. Institutional investors own 96.15% of the company’s stock.

About The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated is engaged in the restaurant and bakery business. As of March 2, 2017, the Company operated 208 Company-owned restaurants: 194 under The Cheesecake Factory mark, 13 under the Grand Lux Cafe mark and one under the Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen mark. The Company’s segments include The Cheesecake Factory restaurants, and other.

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Analyst Recommendations for The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE)

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