BJ's Restaurants Inc. Stock Downgraded (BJRI)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BJ's Restaurants (Nasdaq: BJRI) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • BJRI has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • The gross profit margin for BJ'S RESTAURANTS INC is rather low; currently it is at 18.40%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.90% significantly trails the industry average.
  • BJRI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 33.96%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, BJRI is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
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BJ's Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates casual dining restaurants in the Unites States. The company operates restaurants under the BJ's Restaurant & Brewery, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, BJ's Pizza & Grill, and BJ's Grill names. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. BJ's has a market cap of $932.9 million and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are down 26.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full BJ's Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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