Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $62.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BJ’s Restaurants have outperformed the industry in a year. The company is likely to continue the uptrend, given its better-than-expected performance in each of all of the trailing four quarters. While BJ Restaurants’ high-quality slow-roasted menu has been boosting foot traffic, daily Brewhouse Specials are contributing directly to the company’s top line. Notably, the company’s extensive focus on refining and streamlining its menu is the key driver for improved traffic. BJ’s Restaurants is also investing heavily in technology-driven initiatives, like digital ordering to boost sales. However, higher cost of sales and labor expenses due to increased wages are expected to continue hurting profits. The company's high vulnerability to the inconsistent nature of consumer discretionary spending further add to the woes.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of BJ’s Restaurants from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of BJ’s Restaurants from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, December 12th. Wedbush reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of BJ’s Restaurants in a report on Monday, December 10th. Loop Capital raised their price objective on shares of BJ’s Restaurants to $60.00 in a report on Sunday, December 2nd. Finally, Barclays dropped their price objective on shares of BJ’s Restaurants from $59.00 to $53.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. BJ’s Restaurants presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $64.00.

BJRI traded up $0.22 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $55.85. 368,078 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 439,263. The stock has a market cap of $1.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.61, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a quick ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. BJ’s Restaurants has a one year low of $35.51 and a one year high of $76.50.

BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The restaurant operator reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.16. The firm had revenue of $270.27 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $262.89 million. BJ’s Restaurants had a net margin of 5.80% and a return on equity of 16.70%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.15 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that BJ’s Restaurants will post 2.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Kendra D. Miller sold 11,524 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.17, for a total transaction of $762,543.08. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,909 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $589,508.53. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Kendra D. Miller sold 4,899 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.25, for a total transaction of $319,659.75. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 8,909 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $581,312.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 6.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of BJ’s Restaurants by 113.3% in the third quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,813 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $131,000 after purchasing an additional 963 shares in the last quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $203,000. First Capital Advisors Group LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $231,000. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $261,000. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in shares of BJ’s Restaurants in the third quarter valued at approximately $287,000. 94.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About BJ’s Restaurants

BJ's Restaurants, Inc owns and operates casual dining restaurants in the United States. Its restaurants offer pizzas, craft and other beers, appetizers, entrées, pastas, sandwiches, specialty salads, and desserts. As of November 20, 2018, the company owned and operated 202 casual dining restaurants located in the 27 states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

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