Brinker International (EAT) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday, January 2nd.

According to Zacks, “Brinker’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past one year. Current-year earnings estimates have also declined over the past two months, reflecting analysts’ concern surrounding the stock's future potential. Notably, the company’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in nine of the trailing 11 quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. The company’s presence in energy-exposed markets, where the economy is currently sluggish due to the persistent decline in oil prices, may continue to hurt traffic. Nevertheless, the company’s aggressive expansion strategies, sales building initiatives should boost comps. Also, various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives are expected to drive growth. Yet, higher labor and costs related to initiatives might continue to hurt margins in the near term.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on EAT. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. 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. Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Sunday, October 1st. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a “hold” rating and a $36.00 price objective for the company. Finally, 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. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.50.

Shares of Brinker International (NYSE EAT) opened at $37.09 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.51. Brinker International has a 1-year low of $29.50 and a 1-year high of $48.02. The firm has a market cap of $1,720.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 0.24.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by ($0.01). Brinker International had a net margin of 4.39% and a negative return on equity of 30.36%. The company had revenue of $739.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $749.05 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.49 earnings per share. Brinker International’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Brinker International will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Brinker International news, insider Wyman Roberts sold 33,683 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the insider now owns 137,572 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,211,227.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Charles A. Lousignont sold 3,364 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the senior vice president now owns 15,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $497,442. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.91% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of EAT. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Brinker International in the 2nd quarter valued at about $123,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Brinker International in the 3rd quarter valued at about $221,000. Profund Advisors LLC increased its position in Brinker International by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 6,849 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $261,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Brinker International in the 2nd quarter valued at about $262,000. Finally, Petrus Trust Company LTA increased its position in Brinker International by 27.0% in the 2nd quarter. Petrus Trust Company LTA now owns 6,949 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $265,000 after acquiring an additional 1,476 shares in the last quarter.

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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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