Bloomin’ Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BLMN) Short Interest Up 11.8% in December

Bloomin’ Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BLMN) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,640,000 shares, a growth of 11.8% from the December 15th total of 4,150,000 shares. Approximately 5.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 961,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.8 days.

BLMN has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Barclays reduced their price objective on Bloomin’ Brands from $24.00 to $22.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 18th. BidaskClub lowered Bloomin’ Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 31st. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Bloomin’ Brands from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 7th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Bloomin’ Brands from $21.00 to $23.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 19th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Bloomin’ Brands from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $21.00 to $25.00 in a research report on Thursday, November 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.27.

Shares of BLMN traded up $0.22 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $22.11. 8,104 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 851,682. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 15.62, a current ratio of 0.27 and a quick ratio of 0.17. Bloomin’ Brands has a twelve month low of $15.12 and a twelve month high of $24.29. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $22.30 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $19.72.

Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The restaurant operator reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.10. The company had revenue of $967.14 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $967.04 million. Bloomin’ Brands had a return on equity of 89.62% and a net margin of 2.75%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.08 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Bloomin’ Brands will post 1.57 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Bloomin’ Brands by 91.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,314,548 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $270,689,000 after acquiring an additional 6,842,170 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands during the 2nd quarter worth about $33,037,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands by 99.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,440,749 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $27,245,000 after purchasing an additional 719,691 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,715,593 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $240,452,000 after purchasing an additional 587,697 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Bloomin’ Brands by 62.0% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 1,114,835 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $21,101,000 after purchasing an additional 426,687 shares in the last quarter.

About Bloomin’ Brands

Bloomin' Brands, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates casual, upscale casual, and fine dining restaurants in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, U.S. and International. Its restaurant portfolio has four concepts, including Outback Steakhouse, a casual steakhouse restaurant; Carrabba's Italian Grill, a casual Italian restaurant; Bonefish Grill, an upscale casual seafood restaurant; and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, a contemporary steakhouse.

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