Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by investment analysts at Canaccord Genuity in a report released on Wednesday.

The analysts wrote, “We thought that management was fairly optimistic on the call, indicating a sales/traffic improvement in Q2 so far, which reinforces our belief that Q1 was likely the low point in terms of financial performance for the fiscal year. While we see Chili’s movement towards a more concentrated menu (ribs, burgers & fajitas) and investments in to-go infrastructure as positives, we continue to expect traffic losses given competitive threats. As such, we remain on the sidelines with a HOLD rating. With respect to valuation, shares of EAT are trading at 7.0x NTM EBITDA (FactSet), more than one standard deviation below its L-T historical average. We are lowering our PT to $36 (from $40), which reflects ~7.5x our FY19 EBITDA estimate of $429.8 million.””

EAT has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised Brinker International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Telsey Advisory Group lowered their price target on Brinker International from $49.00 to $40.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Brinker International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $40.00 price target (down from $49.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Brinker International presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $40.50.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $739.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $749.05 million. Brinker International had a negative return on equity of 31.46% and a net margin of 4.79%. Brinker International’s revenue was down 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.49 EPS.

Brinker International declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, August 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 14.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Brinker International news, Director Michael A. George purchased 16,450 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $30.31 per share, with a total value of $498,599.50. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 49,952 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,514,045.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.91% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EAT. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter worth about $123,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Brinker International by 14.2% during the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 4,689 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 582 shares during the last quarter. ING Groep NV purchased a new stake in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter worth about $227,000. Profund Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Brinker International by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 6,849 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $261,000 after buying an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter worth about $262,000.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Brinker International (NYSE:EAT)

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