Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday, November 17th.

According to Zacks, “Cracker barrel is focused on increasing its brand’s relevance at both restaurants and retail stores through enhanced marketing efforts, menu innovation and new retail merchandise. Seasonal promotions and efforts to improve guest experience are also expected to drive incremental sales for the company. Moreover, its new fast casual concept, Holler & Dash Biscuit House, is anticipated to be a key long-term growth driver. Meanwhile, expansion of units and cost saving initiatives seem to bode well. Notably, the fiscal third quarter marked the 24th successive earnings beat for the company. However, a challenging macro environment and limited geographic diversity remain potent headwinds. Additionally, higher costs are expected to weigh on margins, moving ahead. In fact, shares of the company have underperformed the industry year to date. Meanwhile, current-quarter estimate has gone down ahead of its first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings release.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on CBRL. Bank of America dropped their price target on Cracker Barrel Old Country Store from $150.00 to $140.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, September 11th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $136.00 price target on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in a report on Friday, October 20th. Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $155.00 price target (down from $170.00) on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in a report on Thursday, September 7th. BidaskClub cut Cracker Barrel Old Country Store from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $158.00 price target (down from $162.00) on shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have issued a hold rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $155.25.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) traded down $1.69 on Friday, hitting $162.79. The stock had a trading volume of 275,935 shares, compared to its average volume of 298,277. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has a 52 week low of $141.75 and a 52 week high of $175.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,908.27, a PE ratio of 19.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.82 and a beta of 0.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.42 and a current ratio of 0.93.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.86 by $0.06. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store had a return on equity of 35.14% and a net margin of 6.83%. The company had revenue of $710.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $718.85 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.01 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will post 8.63 earnings per share for the current year.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Friday, September 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $25.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Cracker Barrel Old Country Store news, CEO Sandra B. Cochran sold 36,794 shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store stock in a transaction on Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.67, for a total value of $5,580,545.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 157,591 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,901,826.97. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Andrea Weiss sold 2,000 shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.39, for a total value of $306,780.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,758 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,803,559.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.86% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 2,001 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $335,000 after purchasing an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas grew its position in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 1,543 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $258,000 after acquiring an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. grew its position in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 2,511 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $420,000 after acquiring an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR grew its position in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 5,025 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $840,000 after acquiring an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Finally, World Asset Management Inc grew its position in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 1,457 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $244,000 after acquiring an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.92% of the company’s stock.

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About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc is engaged in the operation and development of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store concept (Cracker Barrel). The Company’s segments include Restaurant and Retail. As of September 19, 2016, the Company operated 640 Cracker Barrel stores in 43 states. The format of its stores consists of a rustic old country-store design offering a restaurant menu that features home-style country food and a range of decorative and functional items, such as rocking chairs, holiday and seasonal gifts and toys, apparel, cookware and foods.

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