Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $35.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 11.61% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Brinker’s aggressive expansion strategies and sales building initiatives like streamlining of menu and innovation value offerings along with its loyalty program should boost comps. Increased focus on company-owned restaurants, which allows it to have full control over operations, is also expected to boost the bottom as well as the top line. However, the company’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in eight of the trailing ten quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. Further, higher labor as well as costs related to various initiatives might continue to hurt margins, while overall choppiness in the restaurant space might keep on pressurizing comps in the coming quarters. Nevertheless, various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives are likely to aid the stock in driving growth, going ahead. Meanwhile, estimates have been stable ahead of the company's fiscal first-quarter 2018 earnings release.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut shares of Brinker International from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $48.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. ValuEngine cut shares of Brinker International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Brinker International from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $40.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Brinker International in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.46.

Shares of Brinker International (EAT) traded down 0.70% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $31.36. 1,432,967 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $1.52 billion, a PE ratio of 10.67 and a beta of 0.26. Brinker International has a 52-week low of $29.50 and a 52-week high of $55.84. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $31.74 and its 200-day moving average is $37.50.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 10th. The restaurant operator reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.05. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.79% and a negative return on equity of 31.46%. The firm had revenue of $810.66 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $809.94 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.24 earnings per share. Brinker International’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Brinker International will post $3.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Brinker International declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, August 10th that allows the company to buyback $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: This report was reported by Watch List News and is the sole property of of Watch List News. If you are viewing this report on another site, it was stolen and republished in violation of US & international copyright and trademark legislation. The correct version of this report can be accessed at https://www.watchlistnews.com/brinker-international-inc-eat-stock-rating-upgraded-by-zacks-investment-research/1632407.html.

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

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter valued at about $123,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in Brinker International by 14.2% during the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 4,689 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $179,000 after acquiring an additional 582 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep NV purchased a new position in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter valued at about $227,000. Profund Advisors LLC grew its stake in Brinker International by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 6,849 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $261,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in Brinker International during the 2nd quarter valued at about $262,000.

Brinker International Company Profile

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)

Receive News & Ratings for Brinker International Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Brinker International Inc. and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.