El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, develops, franchises, licenses and operates quick-service restaurants under the name El Pollo Loco. The restaurants specializes in flame-grilled chicken in a variety of contemporary Mexican-influenced entrees, including specialty chicken burritos, chicken quesadillas, chicken tortilla soup, Pollo Bowls and Pollo Salads. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. “

LOCO has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine downgraded El Pollo LoCo from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded El Pollo LoCo from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, September 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $17.00.



LOCO stock traded up $0.14 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $11.81. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 385,801 shares, compared to its average volume of 480,726. The company has a market cap of $415.92 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.51. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $10.38 and its 200 day moving average price is $11.53. The company has a current ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08. El Pollo LoCo has a 12 month low of $9.60 and a 12 month high of $18.47.

El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The restaurant operator reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $113.74 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $113.74 million. El Pollo LoCo had a positive return on equity of 10.49% and a negative net margin of 0.36%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.22 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts expect that El Pollo LoCo will post 0.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. United Services Automobile Association grew its stake in El Pollo LoCo by 12.4% in the second quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 11,566 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $123,000 after acquiring an additional 1,276 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in El Pollo LoCo in the second quarter valued at approximately $2,773,000. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. grew its stake in El Pollo LoCo by 23.6% in the second quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 136,904 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,459,000 after acquiring an additional 26,144 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in El Pollo LoCo by 171.4% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 158,175 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,686,000 after acquiring an additional 99,901 shares during the period. Finally, Sapience Investments LLC acquired a new stake in El Pollo LoCo in the second quarter valued at approximately $7,005,000. 95.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About El Pollo LoCo

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiary El Pollo Loco, Inc, develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name. The company offers citrus-marinated, flame-grilled chicken, and handcrafted entrée products, including specialty chicken burritos, chicken quesadillas, and chicken tortilla soup, as well as under 500 calorie entrees, and Pollo Bowl and Pollo salad products.

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