Zacks Investment Research Downgrades The Habit Restaurants, Inc. (HABT) to Sell

The Habit Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:HABT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday, July 4th.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Cowen and Company increased their price target on shares of The Habit Restaurants from $17.00 to $22.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $20.00 price target on shares of The Habit Restaurants in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $15.50 price target (up previously from $14.50) on shares of The Habit Restaurants in a research report on Monday, March 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $20.92.

The Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) opened at 16.45 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $16.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $16.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $333.08 million, a P/E ratio of 60.93 and a beta of 1.02. The Habit Restaurants has a one year low of $13.20 and a one year high of $19.75.

The Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.08 by $0.01. The Habit Restaurants had a net margin of 1.73% and a return on equity of 5.48%. The company had revenue of $78.64 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.42 million. On average, equities analysts predict that The Habit Restaurants will post $0.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Peter Whitwell sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.03, for a total value of $28,545.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 16,474 shares in the company, valued at approximately $313,500.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 5.77% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HABT. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in The Habit Restaurants by 76.2% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,657,220 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $29,333,000 after buying an additional 716,800 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in The Habit Restaurants by 75.0% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 774,000 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $13,352,000 after buying an additional 331,700 shares in the last quarter. Pier Capital LLC purchased a new stake in The Habit Restaurants during the first quarter worth $5,174,000. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans purchased a new stake in The Habit Restaurants during the first quarter worth $4,236,000. Finally, Elk Creek Partners LLC raised its stake in The Habit Restaurants by 35.9% in the first quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC now owns 693,922 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $12,282,000 after buying an additional 183,396 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 99.09% of the company’s stock.

About The Habit Restaurants

The Habit Restaurants, Inc (Habit Burger Grill) is a fast casual restaurant company. The Company is engaged in preparing made-to-order char-grilled burgers and sandwiches featuring tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade albacore tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it offers sides, shakes and malts.

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Analyst Recommendations for The Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT)

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