Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. is a casual dining restaurant company with a portfolio of differentiated restaurant concepts. It has five concepts: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Roy’s. The Company offers its products and services through company owned and franchised locations throughout the United States and internationally. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. is based in Tampa, Florida. “

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on BLMN. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on shares of Bloomin’ Brands from $20.00 to $21.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. set a $24.00 price objective on shares of Bloomin’ Brands and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. ValuEngine cut shares of Bloomin’ Brands from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub cut shares of Bloomin’ Brands from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company cut shares of Bloomin’ Brands from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $22.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, May 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.00.

Shares of Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) opened at 17.43 on Friday. Bloomin’ Brands has a 52 week low of $15.82 and a 52 week high of $22.16. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $20.71 and its 200 day moving average is $19.49. The stock has a market cap of $1.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.32 and a beta of 0.76.

Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.28. Bloomin’ Brands had a net margin of 2.29% and a return on equity of 64.68%. The firm had revenue of $1.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.04 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Bloomin’ Brands will post $1.42 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 7th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.84%. Bloomin’ Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.56%.

Bloomin’ Brands announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, April 26th that allows the company to buyback $250.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP Sukhdev Singh sold 26,446 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.67, for a total value of $573,084.82. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 15,759 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $341,497.53. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 7.04% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands during the first quarter worth about $173,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands by 8.6% in the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 8,794 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 693 shares during the period. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC boosted its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands by 20.1% in the first quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 9,007 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $178,000 after buying an additional 1,507 shares during the period. New York State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 10,100 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Finally, Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands during the second quarter worth about $201,000. 98.24% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Bloomin’ Brands

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc is a holding company. The Company owns and operates casual, upscale casual and fine dining restaurants. The Company operates through two segments: U.S. and International. The U.S. segment includes all brands operating in the United States. The International segment includes brands operating outside the United States.

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Analyst Recommendations for Bloomin` Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN)

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