Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) to Hold

Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “The Habit Restaurants, Inc., operator of The Habit Burger Grill, is a burger-centric fast casual restaurant company. It is engaged in preparing char-grilled burgers, sandwiches and salads. The Company offers tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade albacore tuna cooked over an open flame; prepared salads and a selection of sides, shakes and malts. It has operations in California, including Bay area, Central California, Greater La, Inland Empire, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego; Arizona; Utah and New Jersey. The Habit Restaurants, Inc. is based in Irvine, California. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on HABT. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $17.00 target price on shares of Habit Restaurants in a report on Friday. ValuEngine cut Habit Restaurants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 29th. BidaskClub lowered Habit Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, Wedbush decreased their price objective on Habit Restaurants from $20.00 to $15.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $15.33.

Shares of HABT traded up $0.25 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $9.96. The stock had a trading volume of 584,022 shares, compared to its average volume of 298,761. Habit Restaurants has a 12 month low of $9.30 and a 12 month high of $18.30. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $10.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market cap of $253.53 million, a P/E ratio of 58.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.59 and a beta of 1.01.

Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The restaurant operator reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.06 by $0.03. Habit Restaurants had a return on equity of 2.72% and a net margin of 0.47%. The company had revenue of $117.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $116.82 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.08 EPS. Habit Restaurants’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect that Habit Restaurants will post 0.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Habit Restaurants by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 932,538 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $9,792,000 after purchasing an additional 9,837 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of Habit Restaurants by 76.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 148,162 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,556,000 after purchasing an additional 64,402 shares during the last quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Habit Restaurants by 84.1% in the 1st quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. now owns 327,341 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,542,000 after purchasing an additional 149,500 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Habit Restaurants by 128.2% during the 1st quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 78,883 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $853,000 after acquiring an additional 44,314 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Habit Restaurants by 4.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,431,457 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $15,032,000 after acquiring an additional 62,136 shares during the last quarter. 63.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Habit Restaurants Company Profile

The Habit Restaurants, Inc, a holding company, operates and franchises fast casual restaurants under The Habit Burger Grill name. It specializes in offering made-to-order char-grilled burgers and sandwiches featuring choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken, and sushi-grade tuna cooked over an open flame; and salads, as well as sides, shakes, and malts.

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