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Brinker International Shares Gain On Wunderlich Upgrade

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Brinker International (NYSE: EAT) shares trended up Tuesday after an analyst upgraded the shares citing its recent performance in a tough industry.

Wunderlich's Robert M. Derrington took the action on the restaurant chain despite what he called weak consumer spending, encroaching competition and widespread industry discounting.

The company's lead restaurant brand, Chili's Grill & Bar, posted same-store sales growth of 2.5 percent in the recent quarter while its Maggiano's Little Italy brand grew comps 1.2 percent.

That compares with an industry wide average decline of 0.9 percent for the same period.

Derrington upgraded Brinker from Hold to Buy and raised his target from $52 to $55.

Upgrades to Chili's menu and "service initiatives" have the company well positioned for continued growth in fiscal 2015, Derrington said, citing its new Top-Shelf Beef and/or Chicken Enchiladas.

The company forecast fiscal 2015 same-store sales growth of one percent to two percent and earnings of between $3 and $3.15 per share.

Brinker gained 1.6 percent recently, trading at $48.28.

Latest Ratings for EAT

Jan 2015JP MorganMaintainsOverweight
Jan 2015BarclaysMaintainsOverweight
Jan 2015WunderlichDowngradesBuyHold

View More Analyst Ratings for EAT
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Robert M. Derrington WunderlichAnalyst Color Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings


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