BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (BJRI) Volatility Spurs A Quest For Clarity

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    T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I… recently announced the acquisition of new stake in BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI). This fresh investment now brings its stake to 14.07% valued currently at $65.59 million. In addition, The Vanguard Group, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.11 million to 2.0 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 13.90% or 82160.0 shares – to 0.67 million shares.

    With over 1.73 million BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (BJRI) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $20.94 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $36.15 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 12.94% and its price on 07/24/20 gained nearly 10.21%. Currently, there are 22.26M common shares owned by the public and among those 21.36M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 16 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for BJRI have a consensus price objective of $24.80. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $34.00 and a low of $18.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the BJ’s Restaurants Inc. stock is 2.60 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 15.12% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -16.33% over that period. But an upside of 38.41% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $23.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 87 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 41 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 161,724 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 46 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 21,080 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in BJ’s Restaurants Inc. are iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF, T Rowe Price Small Cap Stock Fund, and T Rowe Price Small Cap Value Fund. iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF owns 1.37 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $28.73 million. T Rowe Price Small Cap Value Fund bought 0.66 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 0.66 million shares at a value of $13.76 million. T Rowe Price Small Cap Value Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.95% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: BJRI) opened at $19.77, up $0.77 from a prior closing price of $19.00. However, the script later closed the day at $20.94, up 10.21%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 12.94% and 26.99% over the past three months. BJRI shares are trading -44.84% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -45.96% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $6.01 and touched a high of $44.47 over the same period. Currently, 1.73 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 734.41K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 11.25%, 1.09%, and -27.82% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: BJRI) shares accounts for 91.10% of the company’s 22.26M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 52.05%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 65.07% and 37.17% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $468.85M and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.85. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 15.21, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $1.38. The company has a PEG of 1.01 and a Quick Ratio of 0.70 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.85. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 7.45% over the week and 8.34% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (BJRI) will achieve an EPS of -$0.73 for the current quarter, $0 for the next quarter and $0.73 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$1.23 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.02. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.18 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -6.70%, and 128.70% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 15.00% over the next five years, compared to 17.80% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 16 brokerage firm advisors rate BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (BJRI) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.60. Specifically, 4 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 9 of the 16 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the BJRI, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Loop Capital stated their Hold rating for the stock in a research note on July 16, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $30-$21. Stephens coverage for the BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (BJRI) stock in a research note released on May 19, 2020 offered a Equal-Weight rating with a price target of $22. Stifel was of a view on February 21, 2020 that the stock is Hold, while CL King gave the stock Buy rating on December 16, 2019, issuing a price target of $46. Deutsche Bank on their part issued Hold rating on October 28, 2019.

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