Equities research analysts at Stifel Nicolaus assumed coverage on shares of Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) in a note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage set a “hold” rating on the restaurant operator’s stock.

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on EAT. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $40.00 price target (down previously from $49.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target (down from $54.00) on shares of Brinker International in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on shares of Brinker International from $44.00 to $41.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Brinker International in a report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Sunday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.17.

Brinker International (NYSE EAT) traded down 1.13% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $31.50. 2,018,557 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $1.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.71 and a beta of 0.26. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $33.02 and a 200-day moving average price of $38.81. Brinker International has a 1-year low of $29.50 and a 1-year high of $55.84.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 10th. The restaurant operator reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.05. Brinker International had a negative return on equity of 31.46% and a net margin of 4.79%. The business had revenue of $810.66 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $809.94 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.24 earnings per share. Brinker International’s quarterly revenue was down 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post $3.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Brinker International announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, August 10th that allows the company to buyback $250.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, Director Michael A. George acquired 16,450 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $30.31 per share, with a total value of $498,599.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 49,952 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,514,045.12. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Insiders own 1.91% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its stake in shares of Brinker International by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 30,562 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,342,000 after buying an additional 949 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Brinker International by 40.0% during the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 41,219 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,840,000 after buying an additional 11,769 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its stake in Brinker International by 14.7% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 41,808 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,838,000 after buying an additional 5,350 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in Brinker International by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 299,472 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $13,165,000 after buying an additional 14,285 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in Brinker International by 156.1% in the 1st quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 51,916 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,279,000 after buying an additional 31,645 shares during the last quarter.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Brinker International (NYSE:EAT)

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