Brinker International Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (EAT)

Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Traders bought 9,900 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,837% compared to the average daily volume of 511 call options.

In other Brinker International news, Director Andres Tinajero sold 200,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $0.57, for a total value of $114,000.00. Also, VP Michaela M. Ware sold 830 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.08, for a total transaction of $28,286.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $278,808.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 234,513 shares of company stock valued at $1,418,198. Company insiders own 1.91% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in Brinker International by 11.4% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 66,922 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,137,000 after buying an additional 6,841 shares during the period. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. boosted its holdings in Brinker International by 25.2% in the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 425,265 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $13,549,000 after buying an additional 85,557 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio bought a new position in Brinker International in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,299,000. Jennison Associates LLC bought a new position in Brinker International in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $713,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in Brinker International by 37.2% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 689,705 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $21,975,000 after buying an additional 186,853 shares during the period.

EAT has been the subject of several analyst reports. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective (up previously from $49.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Brinker International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $39.00 to $41.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $39.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.08.

Brinker International (EAT) opened at $34.99 on Friday. Brinker International has a 52-week low of $29.50 and a 52-week high of $45.81. The firm has a market cap of $1,620.00, a P/E ratio of 12.45, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 0.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.47, a quick ratio of 0.38 and a current ratio of 0.43.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The restaurant operator reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.15. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.10% and a negative return on equity of 30.98%. The firm had revenue of $766.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $773.84 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.71 EPS. The company’s revenue was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post 3.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be given a dividend of $0.38 per share. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.34%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio is currently 54.09%.

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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.

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