Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $42.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.76% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Brinker’s aggressive expansion strategies and sales building initiatives like streamlining of menu and innovation value offerings along with its loyalty program should boost comps. Increased focus on company-owned restaurants, which allows it to have full control over operations, is also expected to boost the bottom as well as the top line. Also, various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives are likely to drive growth. Brinker’s shares have outperformed the industry in the past three months. Estimates for 2018 has also gone up over the past 60 days.  However, the company’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in nine of the trailing 11 quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. Also,  higher labor as well as costs related to various initiatives might continue to hurt margins, while overall choppiness in the restaurant space might keep on pressurizing comps in the coming quarters.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on EAT. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. ValuEngine downgraded Brinker International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group cut their price objective on Brinker International from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.08.

Shares of Brinker International (NYSE EAT) opened at $37.58 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,740.00, a PE ratio of 13.57, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 0.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.51, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.34. Brinker International has a 1-year low of $29.50 and a 1-year high of $48.02.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $739.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $749.05 million. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.39% and a negative return on equity of 30.36%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.49 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Brinker International news, SVP Charles A. Lousignont sold 3,364 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total value of $111,012.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $497,442. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Wyman Roberts sold 33,683 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.88, for a total value of $1,275,912.04. Following the sale, the insider now owns 137,572 shares in the company, valued at $5,211,227.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.91% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bruderman Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Brinker International during the second quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC bought a new stake in shares of Brinker International during the third quarter valued at approximately $221,000. Profund Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Brinker International by 0.8% during the second quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 6,849 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $261,000 after purchasing an additional 57 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Brinker International during the second quarter valued at approximately $262,000. Finally, Petrus Trust Company LTA increased its position in shares of Brinker International by 27.0% during the second quarter. Petrus Trust Company LTA now owns 6,949 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $265,000 after purchasing an additional 1,476 shares during the period.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: “Brinker International (EAT) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research” was originally posted by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are reading this piece of content on another domain, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of international copyright & trademark law. The original version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/12/brinker-international-eat-upgraded-to-buy-by-zacks-investment-research.html.

About Brinker International

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Brinker International (EAT)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Brinker International (NYSE:EAT)

Receive News & Ratings for Brinker International Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Brinker International and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.