- Wedbush analyst Nick Setyan reiterated a Neutral rating on the shares of BJ’s Restaurants Inc BJRI and raised the price target to $29 from $25.
- The analyst believes BJ’s may have one of the tougher paths towards an eventual top- and bottom-line normalization within the casual dining peer set as the post-COVID new normal unfolds.
- He added that the current discounts to its own pre-COVID multiples and casual dining peers may persist.
- The restaurant chain reported Q3 earnings above the Street view.
- Setyan said the primary driver of transaction improvement remains the return of dine-in sales as staffing levels improve.
- The analyst noted that a return to pre-COVID margins remains difficult to foresee.
- Resumption of shares repurchases could offer some level of downside cushion, Setyan said.
- The analyst lists unexpected fluctuations in input costs, higher or lower than expected sales from new openings, and a general improvement or deterioration in economic conditions as possible risks to the valuation.
- Price Action: BJRI shares are trading higher by 5.73% at $28.42 on the last check Friday.
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