Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday, January 4th.

According to Zacks, “Various initiatives to boost sales like menu innovation, roll-out of an improved server training program, launch of mobile payment app and focus on delivery bode well for Cheesecake Factory. However, a lowered fiscal 2017 outlook and reversal in positive comps trend due to prevailing challenging restaurant environment calls for caution. Meanwhile, the company’s profits have been under pressure owing to a rise in rates of wages. Moreover, as the company strives to expand its presence worldwide, pre-opening costs of outlets along with expenses related to sales initiatives will continue to hurt margins. Further, continued sluggish performance by Grand Lux Café raises concern. Shares have underperformed the industry over the past year. Earnings estimates for 2018  has gone down in the past 60 days.”

Several other research firms have also weighed in on CAKE. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a hold rating and set a $49.00 target price on shares of Cheesecake Factory in a report on Friday, September 8th. Maxim Group restated a buy rating and set a $57.00 price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. BTIG Research restated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Wedbush lowered Cheesecake Factory from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $52.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $48.56.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) traded down $0.18 during trading on Thursday, hitting $47.24. The stock had a trading volume of 1,189,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,088,214. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,160.00, a PE ratio of 17.43, a PEG ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 0.51 and a quick ratio of 0.37. Cheesecake Factory has a twelve month low of $38.34 and a twelve month high of $67.14.

Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.56 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.60 by ($0.04). The firm had revenue of $555.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $566.09 million. Cheesecake Factory had a net margin of 5.76% and a return on equity of 21.65%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.70 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Cheesecake Factory will post 2.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Cheesecake Factory news, VP Debby R. Zurzolo sold 2,306 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.75, for a total value of $103,193.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Herbert Simon bought 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $43.50 per share, for a total transaction of $1,087,500.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 8.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CAKE. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its stake in shares of Cheesecake Factory by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 6,510 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $327,000 after acquiring an additional 26 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC boosted its stake in shares of Cheesecake Factory by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 7,704 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $371,000 after acquiring an additional 55 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Cheesecake Factory by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 35,914 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,806,000 after acquiring an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Cheesecake Factory by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 34,552 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,738,000 after acquiring an additional 126 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amalgamated Bank boosted its stake in shares of Cheesecake Factory by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 6,433 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $324,000 after acquiring an additional 211 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.47% 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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