What happened

Some analysts think Bloomin' Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) is undervalued, and they're letting the world know. That's what's sending shares of the company higher today. Investors are always looking for bargains, and perhaps even more so right now with the market at all-time highs.

Bloomin' Brands stock was trading 8% higher as of 12:30 p.m. EDT. But these analysts think it has much further to climb.

A hand plots an arrow higher on a graph.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The first bullish commentary came from Deutsche Bank. It sees around 40% upside in Bloomin' Brands stock over the next year to 18 months. And it considers this a conservative forecast. Improving economic trends for casual-dining restaurant chains could cause shares to go even higher.

Raymond James agrees with Deutsche Bank that Bloomin' Brands stock is undervalued. It says the stock is a "strong buy" after considering its valuation metrics. 

BLMN Chart

BLMN data by YCharts

Now what

According to Deutsche Bank's assessment, Bloomin' Brands stock is worth at least $20 per share. For perspective, that's where it traded last year, before the pandemic wrecked its business. Given its revenue was declining and its profits stagnating, I'm not sure it was a great investment back then.

I'm even less convinced Bloomin' Brands stock is a bargain right now. When the company last updated investors, it still had 80 restaurants in the U.S. closed to on-premises dining. At these locations, comparable sales were down 44.6% year over year. At the 928 locations already reopened, comp sales were still down 16.1%.

In other words, Bloomin' Brands' business is still struggling right now. And even if business returns to prepandemic levels, that's not necessarily something to get excited about -- it wasn't growing revenue and profits in a way leading to market-beating stock returns. This being the case, I wouldn't jump into a Bloomin' Brands investment hoping the stock goes back to $20 per share. That seems like a shortsighted hope at best.  

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.