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 upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BJRI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in 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.
  • BJ'S RESTAURANTS INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BJ'S RESTAURANTS INC's EPS of $1.09 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $1.09. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.19 versus $1.09).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income has decreased by 4.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $8.62 million to $8.27 million.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, BJRI has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.20% from its price level of one year ago. Despite the decline in its share price over the last year, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays compensate for this.
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BJ's Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates casual dining restaurants in the Unites States. Its restaurants offer pizzas, beers, appetizers, entrees, pastas, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. BJ's has a market cap of $993.5 million and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

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.

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