Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of DineEquity (NYSE:DIN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $62.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock.

According to Zacks, “DineEquity, Inc. was created from a foundation established by IHOP – an American icon to their guests and a franchising company focused on providing strategic, visionary leadership for their franchisees, unparalleled opportunities for our team members, and enhancing value for their shareholders. By bringing Applebee’s together with IHOP, they made a bold, new commitment to their brand-revitalization abilities and to the power of franchising. DineEquity has successfully made their two businesses more powerful and more successful than either brand could have been apart. Their dedicated focus combined with a core expertise in brand revitalization and franchising know-how is the basis for the winning formula that has defined the financial success of their business in recent years. As reported by Nation’s Restaurant News, Applebee’s and IHOP are the category leaders in casual and family dining. “

DIN has been the topic of a number of other research reports. TheStreet lowered shares of DineEquity from a c rating to a d+ rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Maxim Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of DineEquity in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of DineEquity from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $59.80.

DineEquity (NYSE DIN) opened at $53.96 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $970.63, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.24 and a beta of 0.51. DineEquity has a twelve month low of $36.71 and a twelve month high of $68.13. The company has a quick ratio of 1.39, a current ratio of 1.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.40.

DineEquity (NYSE:DIN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The restaurant operator reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $144.67 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $146.92 million. DineEquity had a negative net margin of 64.74% and a positive return on equity of 64.43%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.46 EPS. equities research analysts expect that DineEquity will post 4.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Larry Alan Kay sold 778 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.14, for a total transaction of $35,118.92. Following the transaction, the director now owns 8,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $384,276.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DIN. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of DineEquity by 59.4% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,697,013 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $118,803,000 after purchasing an additional 1,005,504 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of DineEquity during the 2nd quarter valued at $305,000. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd bought a new position in shares of DineEquity during the 3rd quarter valued at $12,803,000. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of DineEquity by 3.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,578,848 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $69,548,000 after purchasing an additional 56,955 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new position in shares of DineEquity during the 3rd quarter valued at $2,373,000. 92.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About DineEquity

DineEquity, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and franchises the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar (Applebee’s) concept in the bar and grill segment within the casual dining category of the restaurant industry, and owns, franchises and operates the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) concept in the family dining category of the restaurant industry.

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