Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Cheesecake Factory’s third-quarter fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings per share of 56 lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.7% and declined 20% year over year. Sales of $555.4 million also fell short of the consensus mark by 1.3% and decreased 0.8% year over year. Notably, a lowered fiscal 2017 outlook and reversal in positive comps trend due to prevailing challenging restaurant environment are concerning. Meanwhile, higher labor and pre-openings costs coupled with expenses related to sales initiatives are likely to pressurize profits in the near term. Cheesecake Factory’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past year. Even so, various initiatives to boost sales like menu innovation, roll-out of an improved server training program, launch of mobile payment app and focus on delivery bode well.”

CAKE has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays PLC lowered their price target on The Cheesecake Factory from $56.00 to $53.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Stephens reduced their target price on The Cheesecake Factory from $48.00 to $45.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their target price on The Cheesecake Factory from $46.00 to $43.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. BidaskClub lowered The Cheesecake Factory from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a hold rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of The Cheesecake Factory in a report on Friday, September 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $49.24.

Shares of The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) traded up $1.28 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $43.46. The company had a trading volume of 1,857,212 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,552,798. The company has a market cap of $2,042.92, a PE ratio of 15.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.29. The Cheesecake Factory has a 1-year low of $38.34 and a 1-year high of $67.14.

The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.56 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by ($0.04). The firm had revenue of $555.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $566.09 million. The Cheesecake Factory had a net margin of 5.76% and a return on equity of 21.65%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.70 EPS. analysts expect that The Cheesecake Factory will post 2.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 28th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.29 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. The Cheesecake Factory’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.80%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of The Cheesecake Factory by 17.6% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,216 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $162,000 after purchasing an additional 482 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of The Cheesecake Factory by 3.3% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,420 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $218,000 after purchasing an additional 109 shares in the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of The Cheesecake Factory by 105.5% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,493 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $176,000 after purchasing an additional 1,793 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Cheesecake Factory in the first quarter valued at $254,000. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Cheesecake Factory in the second quarter valued at $205,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.52% of the company’s stock.

The Cheesecake Factory Company Profile

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 The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE)

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