Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc (NASDAQ:FRGI) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc (NASDAQ:FRGI) was the target of a large increase in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,474,900 shares, an increase of 6.6% from the May 30th total of 1,384,200 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 261,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.6 days. Approximately 5.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Shares of NASDAQ FRGI opened at $11.20 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $13.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.76. The stock has a market cap of $310.76 million, a PE ratio of 19.19 and a beta of -0.05. Fiesta Restaurant Group has a 12-month low of $11.14 and a 12-month high of $30.88.

Fiesta Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:FRGI) last announced its earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The restaurant operator reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $165.85 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $163.15 million. Fiesta Restaurant Group had a net margin of 0.86% and a return on equity of 6.55%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.16 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Fiesta Restaurant Group will post 0.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Icon from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 30th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Valmont Industries from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Westport Fuel Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.67.

In related news, major shareholder Jefferies Financial Group Inc. purchased 138,571 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 13th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $13.56 per share, for a total transaction of $1,879,022.76. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 3,954,430 shares in the company, valued at $53,622,070.80. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. In the last quarter, insiders acquired 1,588,075 shares of company stock worth $21,794,537. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of Fiesta Restaurant Group by 440.0% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,700 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $42,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in Fiesta Restaurant Group by 386.5% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,434 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $71,000 after purchasing an additional 4,317 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan purchased a new stake in Fiesta Restaurant Group in the 4th quarter worth about $105,000. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Fiesta Restaurant Group in the 1st quarter worth about $106,000. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its position in Fiesta Restaurant Group by 259.7% in the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 6,881 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 4,968 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.20% of the company’s stock.

Fiesta Restaurant Group Company Profile

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises fast-casual restaurants. It operates its fast-casual restaurants under the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana brands. The company's Pollo Tropical restaurants offer fire-grilled and citrus marinated chicken, and other freshly prepared tropical inspired menu items; and Taco Cabana restaurants that provide Mexican inspired food made fresh by hand.

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