Denny’s (DENN) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Denny’s (NASDAQ:DENN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Denny’s Corp., formerly Advantica Restaurant Group, Inc., is one of the largest restaurant companies, operating moderately-priced restaurants: Denny’s, Hardee’s, Quincy’s, El Pollo Loco, Coco’s and Carrows. The company believes its restaurants benefit from the diversity of the restaurant concepts, the generally strong market positions and consumer recognition enjoyed by these chains, the benefits of a centralized support system for purchasing, menu development, human resources, management information systems, site selection, restaurant design and construction. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on DENN. Maxim Group reissued a buy rating and set a $21.00 target price on shares of Denny’s in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. BidaskClub cut shares of Denny’s from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 31st. Finally, Wedbush reissued a buy rating and set a $20.00 target price on shares of Denny’s in a report on Monday, February 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $19.00.

Shares of NASDAQ:DENN opened at $17.03 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $1.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.04 and a beta of 0.17. Denny’s has a 1-year low of $13.32 and a 1-year high of $18.94.

Denny’s (NASDAQ:DENN) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 12th. The restaurant operator reported $0.18 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.18. The company had revenue of $159.55 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $158.85 million. Denny’s had a net margin of 6.93% and a negative return on equity of 38.27%. The firm’s revenue was up 17.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.18 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Denny’s will post 0.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO John C. Miller sold 125,794 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.95, for a total transaction of $2,258,002.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 587,158 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,539,486.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP F Mark Wolfinger sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.67, for a total transaction of $125,025.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 723,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,058,977.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 140,794 shares of company stock valued at $2,517,127 in the last quarter. 5.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DENN. Millennium Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Denny’s by 189.5% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 462,051 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $7,490,000 after purchasing an additional 302,473 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Denny’s by 6.7% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,395,364 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $64,699,000 after purchasing an additional 275,159 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Denny’s during the 4th quarter valued at about $3,480,000. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new position in shares of Denny’s during the 4th quarter valued at about $2,296,000. Finally, Two Sigma Investments LP boosted its position in shares of Denny’s by 286.2% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 163,098 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,644,000 after purchasing an additional 120,863 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.16% of the company’s stock.

Denny’s Company Profile

Denny's Corporation, through its subsidiary, Denny's, Inc, owns and operates full-service restaurant chains under the Denny's brand. As of September 26, 2018, it had 1,715 franchised, licensed, and company restaurants worldwide, including 128 restaurants in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, New Zealand, Honduras, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Guam, Curaçao, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the United Kingdom.

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