Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $11.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock.

According to Zacks, “The Habit Restaurants, Inc., operator of The Habit Burger Grill, is a burger-centric fast casual restaurant company. It is engaged in preparing char-grilled burgers, sandwiches and salads. The Company offers tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade albacore tuna cooked over an open flame; prepared salads and a selection of sides, shakes and malts. It has operations in California, including Bay area, Central California, Greater La, Inland Empire, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego; Arizona; Utah and New Jersey. The Habit Restaurants, Inc. is based in Irvine, California. “

HABT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Wedbush reissued a buy rating on shares of Liquidia Technologies in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. ValuEngine raised shares of USINAS SIDERURG/S from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Maxim Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $315.00 price objective (up previously from $305.00) on shares of Domino’s Pizza in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Habit Restaurants presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $16.17.

Shares of NASDAQ HABT traded down $0.05 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $9.96. 237,800 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 289,232. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.61. The stock has a market capitalization of $261.35 million, a PE ratio of 58.59, a PEG ratio of 3.78 and a beta of 1.01. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $10.26. Habit Restaurants has a 52-week low of $9.60 and a 52-week high of $18.30.

Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The restaurant operator reported ($0.01) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.04) by $0.03. The company had revenue of $108.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $105.51 million. Habit Restaurants had a net margin of 0.47% and a return on equity of 2.72%. The firm’s revenue was up 17.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.01 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Habit Restaurants will post 0.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of HABT. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of Habit Restaurants by 512.6% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,239 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $46,000 after buying an additional 3,547 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its position in shares of Habit Restaurants by 356.5% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 7,158 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $75,000 after buying an additional 5,590 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Habit Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $100,000. Stephens Inc. AR bought a new stake in shares of Habit Restaurants during the first quarter valued at approximately $130,000. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp bought a new stake in shares of Habit Restaurants during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $132,000. 63.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Habit Restaurants

The Habit Restaurants, Inc, a holding company, operates and franchises fast casual restaurants under The Habit Burger Grill name. It specializes in offering made-to-order char-grilled burgers and sandwiches featuring choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken, and sushi-grade tuna cooked over an open flame; and salads, as well as sides, shakes, and malts.

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