Why Bloomin' Brands Inc. Shares Served Up a Feast of Gains Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Bloomin' Brands Inc (NASDAQ: BLMN  ) finished the day with a 14% pop after the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, and other well-known sit-down chains reported market-topping earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter.

So what: Bloomin's fourth-quarter revenue of $1.05 billion, of which $1.04 billion came from restaurant sales. Analysts were expecting $1.05 billion from restaurant operations, but were willing to overlook this very narrow miss in favor of Bloomin's 35% year-over-year rise in adjusted earnings to $0.27 per share, a penny better than what Wall Street had expected. The company's baseline earnings were higher, at $0.46 per share, largely as a result of Bloomin's acquisition of a controlling stake in its Brazilian locations, which contributed $36.6 million to Bloomin's $59 million GAAP net income.

Bloomin's forward guidance is now pegged at $4.4 billion (or more) in revenue and at least $1.21 in EPS for the full fiscal year, which was modified by Bloomin's shift to a 52- or 53-week fiscal year rather than a calendar-based fiscal year. Analysts were looking for more: the consensus was for $4.52 billion in full-year revenue and $1.28 in EPS.

Now what: With an adjusted forward P/E of 21.7 and anticipated year-over-year revenue growth of roughly 7%, Bloomin' is sitting in a state of uncertainty for investors that lies somewhere between "good bargain" and "fully valued waste of investment money." Its valuation is a fair bit lower than the industry average P/E of about 28, which means that it could rise to meet its peers in the middle even without any significant growth on top or bottom lines. I'd dig a little deeper before deciding to put money into Bloomin', but today's earnings offer plenty of data from which to begin.

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