Zacks Investment Research Upgrades BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (BJRI) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “BJ’s Restaurants posted third-quarter fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings of 15 cents per share that fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 37.5%. Also, earnings declined 50% year over year due to increased expenses and adverse effects of the recent hurricanes. Revenues of $247 million were up 5.7% year over year given increase in total operating weeks but missed the consensus mark by 0.7%. Meanwhile, comps declined 1.7% in the quarter. Additionally, BJ’s Restaurants shares have underperformed the industry in the last six months. Nevertheless, the four strategic sales-building initiatives undertaken by the company are expected to boost the top line, going forward. Also, a deep pipeline of new menu items, loyalty program enhancements and other productivity and digital initiatives are likely to improve performance. Even so, higher costs, an uncertain sales environment and a slowdown in company’s development plan remain concerns.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Canaccord Genuity lowered their target price on shares of BJ’s Restaurants from $42.00 to $38.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Barclays PLC lowered their target price on shares of BJ’s Restaurants from $29.00 to $27.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered their target price on shares of BJ’s Restaurants from $35.00 to $30.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $36.00 target price on shares of BJ’s Restaurants in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus assumed coverage on shares of BJ’s Restaurants in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a hold rating and a $32.00 target price on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. BJ’s Restaurants presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $36.89.

Shares of BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) traded up $0.40 during trading on Friday, hitting $31.60. 362,500 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 449,742. BJ’s Restaurants has a 52-week low of $28.00 and a 52-week high of $47.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $643.76, a P/E ratio of 19.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.56.

BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The restaurant operator reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.24 by ($0.09). The firm had revenue of $247.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $248.73 million. BJ’s Restaurants had a return on equity of 13.85% and a net margin of 3.30%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.30 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that BJ’s Restaurants will post 1.41 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a special dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 4th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 13th will be given a $0.11 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 10th. BJ’s Restaurants’s dividend payout ratio is presently 7.24%.

In related news, Director Patrick Walsh sold 37,764 shares of BJ’s Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.59, for a total value of $1,192,964.76. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 19,844 shares in the company, valued at approximately $626,871.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Gregory S. Lynds sold 3,621 shares of BJ’s Restaurants stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.48, for a total value of $110,368.08. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 19,103 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $582,259.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 46,092 shares of company stock valued at $1,453,015 over the last quarter. 6.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Aperio Group LLC increased its holdings in BJ’s Restaurants by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 6,593 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $246,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. increased its holdings in BJ’s Restaurants by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 5,800 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $216,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 17,086 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $636,000 after purchasing an additional 208 shares during the period. People s United Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. People s United Financial Inc. now owns 12,014 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $447,000 after purchasing an additional 246 shares during the period. Finally, US Bancorp DE grew its stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 21,794 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $812,000 after purchasing an additional 262 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 99.00% of the company’s stock.

About BJ’s Restaurants

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc owns and operates restaurants. The Company segment includes casual dining company-owned restaurants. Each of its restaurants is operated either as a BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, a BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, a BJ’s Pizza & Grill or a BJ’s Grill restaurant. The Company’s restaurants offer craft beers and other beers, as well as a selection of appetizers, entrees, pastas, burgers and sandwiches, specialty salads, and desserts, including its warm pizza cookie dessert, the Pizookie.

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