Brinker International, Inc. (EAT) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Brinker International’s shares have underperformed the Zacks categorized Retail-Restaurants industry year to date. Notably, Brinker’s revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in eight of the trailing nine quarters, mainly due to traffic decline at its restaurants. The company’s presence in energy-exposed markets, where the economy is currently sluggish due to the persistent decline in oil prices, may continue to hurt traffic. Nevertheless, the company’s aggressive expansion strategies, sales building initiatives should boost comps. Also, various operational, remodeling and digital initiatives are expected to drive growth. Yet, higher labor and costs related to initiatives might continue to hurt margins in the near term. Additionally, a slowdown in some of the international markets that the company operates in and overall choppiness in the restaurant space might also keep on pressurizing comps in the coming quarters.”

EAT has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine downgraded Brinker International from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Barclays PLC reissued an equal weight rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $49.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a report on Thursday, April 20th. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded Brinker International from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $48.00 to $44.00 in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised Brinker International from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $40.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Brinker International presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $48.85.

Shares of Brinker International (NYSE EAT) traded up 0.092% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $38.115. 558,428 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.448 and a beta of 0.25. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $41.23 and its 200 day moving average is $44.42. Brinker International has a 1-year low of $36.44 and a 1-year high of $55.84.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 25th. The restaurant operator reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.85 by $0.09. Brinker International had a negative return on equity of 39.89% and a net margin of 5.05%. The company had revenue of $810.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $817.50 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.00 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post $3.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 12th will be given a $0.34 dividend. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.57%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 8th. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 44.16%.

In other news, SVP David Roy Doyle sold 7,182 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.41, for a total value of $318,952.62. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 54,074 shares in the company, valued at $2,401,426.34. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Steve Provost sold 2,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.06, for a total value of $121,165.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 29,780 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,312,106.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.76% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of EAT. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Brinker International by 10,393.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,975,272 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $174,753,000 after buying an additional 3,937,390 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Brinker International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $40,083,000. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Brinker International by 15.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,544,617 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $243,741,000 after buying an additional 738,302 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake in Brinker International by 33.8% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 2,236,357 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $98,310,000 after buying an additional 565,294 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its stake in Brinker International by 114.0% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 495,250 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $21,771,000 after buying an additional 263,790 shares during the period.

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.

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