Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Brinker International (EAT)

Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors acquired 9,900 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,837% compared to the average volume of 511 call options.

EAT has been the subject of several analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Brinker International in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Brinker International in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Brinker International in a report on Monday, November 6th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Brinker International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Brinker International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.08.

In other news, insider Wyman Roberts sold 33,683 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.88, for a total transaction of $1,275,912.04. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 137,572 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,211,227.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Michaela M. Ware sold 830 shares of Brinker International stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.08, for a total transaction of $28,286.40. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 8,181 shares in the company, valued at $278,808.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 234,513 shares of company stock worth $1,418,198. 1.91% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 16.4% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,154,891 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $168,822,000 after acquiring an additional 726,427 shares during the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 9.2% in the third quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,647,296 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $84,343,000 after acquiring an additional 223,269 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 2,316.6% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,544,700 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $98,836,000 after acquiring an additional 2,439,400 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 47.3% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,832,718 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $71,183,000 after acquiring an additional 588,896 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Brinker International by 18.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,710,040 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $65,148,000 after acquiring an additional 265,437 shares during the last quarter.

Brinker International (NYSE EAT) opened at $34.60 on Friday. Brinker International has a 12 month low of $29.50 and a 12 month high of $45.81. The firm has a market cap of $1,621.22, a PE ratio of 13.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 0.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.47, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.38.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The restaurant operator reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.15. Brinker International had a net margin of 4.10% and a negative return on equity of 30.98%. The company had revenue of $766.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $773.84 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.71 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Brinker International will post 3.43 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be paid a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 8th. Brinker International’s dividend payout ratio is presently 58.02%.

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Brinker International Company Profile

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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