Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Cheesecake Factory’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Earnings estimates for 2018 has also gone up over the past 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism. The company’s differentiated menu, operational distinction and unique ambiance appeal to customers. Further, the company’s aggressive expansion initiatives also bode well and should drive growth. However, a lowered fiscal 2017 outlook due to prevailing challenging restaurant environment calls for caution. Moving ahead, higher labor and pre-openings costs coupled with expenses related to sales initiatives are likely to continue to hurt margins. In addition, underperformance by Grand Lux Cafe raises caution.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Stephens lowered their target price on Cheesecake Factory from $48.00 to $45.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Barclays reduced their target price on Cheesecake Factory from $48.00 to $46.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their target price on Cheesecake Factory from $46.00 to $43.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Nomura reduced their target price on Cheesecake Factory from $44.00 to $43.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Maxim Group reduced their target price on Cheesecake Factory from $57.00 to $54.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cheesecake Factory has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.00.

Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) traded down $0.44 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $46.21. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 425,719 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,003,459. The company has a quick ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05. The company has a market capitalization of $2,120.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.33. Cheesecake Factory has a 12-month low of $38.34 and a 12-month high of $67.14.

In other Cheesecake Factory news, VP Debby R. Zurzolo sold 2,306 shares of Cheesecake Factory stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.75, for a total transaction of $103,193.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 8.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in Cheesecake Factory in the second quarter worth about $353,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its holdings in Cheesecake Factory by 8.7% during the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 74,481 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,137,000 after buying an additional 5,938 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its holdings in Cheesecake Factory by 33.4% during the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 79,701 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,352,000 after buying an additional 19,944 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in Cheesecake Factory by 7.5% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,453,386 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $61,216,000 after buying an additional 101,513 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Cheesecake Factory by 3.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,171,917 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $209,847,000 after buying an additional 146,756 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.55% of the company’s stock.

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About 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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