Wall Street analysts expect Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) to announce $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have issued estimates for Brinker International’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.69 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.72. Brinker International posted earnings per share of $0.71 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 1.4%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th.

On average, analysts expect that Brinker International will report full year earnings of $3.22 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.15 to $3.26. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $3.27 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.78 to $3.45. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that cover Brinker International.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.01). Brinker International had a negative return on equity of 30.36% and a net margin of 4.39%. The business had revenue of $739.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $749.05 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.49 EPS. Brinker International’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

EAT has been the subject of several analyst reports. ValuEngine cut shares of Brinker International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Telsey Advisory Group dropped their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. BMO Capital Markets set a $36.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 12th. Stephens dropped their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $40.00 to $34.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $40.50.

Shares of Brinker International (EAT) traded down $0.29 during trading on Monday, reaching $32.70. 228,783 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,429,029. Brinker International has a twelve month low of $29.50 and a twelve month high of $55.69. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.51. The firm has a market cap of $1,527.11, a PE ratio of 10.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 0.16.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 7th. Brinker International’s payout ratio is presently 54.87%.

Brinker International declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, August 10th that permits the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to purchase up to 14.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, SVP Charles A. Lousignont sold 3,364 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total transaction of $111,012.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $497,442. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael A. George acquired 16,450 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $30.31 per share, with a total value of $498,599.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 49,952 shares in the company, valued at $1,514,045.12. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 1.91% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $123,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position 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 purchasing an additional 582 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep NV acquired a new position in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $227,000. Profund Advisors LLC increased its position 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 purchasing an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $262,000.

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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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