Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Cheesecake Factory’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Earnings estimates for 2018 has also gone up over the past 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism. The company’s differentiated menu, operational distinction and unique ambiance appeal to customers. Further, the company’s aggressive expansion initiatives also bode well and should drive growth. However, a lowered fiscal 2017 outlook due to prevailing challenging restaurant environment calls for caution. Moving ahead, higher labor and pre-openings costs coupled with expenses related to sales initiatives are likely to continue to hurt margins. In addition, underperformance by Grand Lux Cafe raises caution.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Nomura dropped their target price on shares of Cheesecake Factory from $44.00 to $43.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Piper Jaffray Companies increased their price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory from $45.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Stephens lowered their price objective on shares of Cheesecake Factory from $48.00 to $45.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.00.

Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) traded up $0.27 on Wednesday, reaching $46.92. 300,499 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 993,263. The firm has a market cap of $2,156.95, a P/E ratio of 17.31, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.33. Cheesecake Factory has a 12-month low of $38.34 and a 12-month high of $67.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.51.

In other news, VP Debby R. Zurzolo sold 2,306 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.75, for a total transaction of $103,193.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 8.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in Cheesecake Factory by 85.1% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 6,332 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $319,000 after purchasing an additional 2,912 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Cheesecake Factory by 3.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,171,917 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $209,847,000 after purchasing an additional 146,756 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in Cheesecake Factory by 28.4% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 700,847 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $35,253,000 after purchasing an additional 155,007 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in Cheesecake Factory by 3.2% during the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 101,900 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $5,126,000 after purchasing an additional 3,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, M&T Bank Corp lifted its stake in Cheesecake Factory by 23.4% during the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 4,849 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $244,000 after purchasing an additional 919 shares during the last quarter. 98.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated is engaged in the restaurant and bakery business. As of March 2, 2017, the Company operated 208 Company-owned restaurants: 194 under The Cheesecake Factory mark, 13 under the Grand Lux Cafe mark and one under the Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen mark. The Company’s segments include The Cheesecake Factory restaurants, and other.

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Analyst Recommendations for Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE)

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