Market Overview

Four Top Comfort Food Restaurant Stocks Of The Summer

While big retailers like Walmart (NYSE: WMT) have been offering so-so results for the most recent quarter and lowering their guidance, blaming consumer reluctance to spend, several restaurant stocks have posted better than expected earnings and some have announced expansion plans.

Biglari Holdings (NYSE: BH), Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ: BOBE), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ: CBRL) and Jack in the Box (NASDAQ: JACK) have been some of the top performing restaurant stocks this summer, and consensus price targets suggest that analysts see at least a little more upside potential from them.

Below we take a quick look at how these four stocks have fared and what analysts expect.

See also: These CEOs Cry The Blues As Consumer Spending Pulls Back Again

Biglari Holdings

This San Antonio-based company reported strong same-store sales growth at its Steak n Shake chain in the most recent quarter. Biglari sports a market capitalization of about $610 million. Its long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is more than 13 percent and the return on equity is more than 29 percent.

Only one analyst who follows the stock was surveyed by Thomson/First Call. That analyst recommends buying shares and has for at least three months. The price target, or where that analyst expects the share price to go, is more than 18 percent higher than the current share price. That would be a new multiyear high.

Shares reached a multiyear high Thursday, and the share price is currently more than 15 percent higher than three months ago. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed not only the broader markets, but competitor Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) as well.

Bob Evans Farms

This Columbus, Ohio-based company beat consensus EPS estimates in the most recent quarter and raised its dividend. Bob Evans has a market cap near $1.4 billion and a dividend yield of about 2.3 percent. Note, however, that its return on equity is in negative territory.

Half the six analysts polled rate the stock at Strong Buy and one other also recommends buying shares. The analysts' mean price target is more than eight percent higher than the current share price. That target would be a new multiyear high.

The stock has had a volatile two weeks, but the share price now is more than 13 percent higher than three months ago. Over the past six months, this stock has outperformed the likes Brinker International (NYSE: EAT) and Denny's (NASDAQ: DENN), as well as the broader markets.

Cracker Barrel

Sardar Biglari, a shareholder of this Tennessee-based purveyor of comfort food and nostalgia, has lately been trying to get a seat on the board. Cracker Barrel's market cap is more than $2 billion, and its long-term EPS growth forecast is about 10 percent. The return on equity is about 28 percent.

The consensus recommendation of the surveyed analysts is to hold shares, and it has been for at least three months. Their mean price target indicates more than two percent potential upside, though. That consensus price target is about the same as the multiyear high reached earlier this summer.

Shares are more than 16 percent higher than three months ago and up more than 55 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has outperformed competitors Denny's and DineEquity (NYSE: DIN), which operates the IHOP chain, over the past six months.

See also: Cracker Barrels Reports Receipt of Nomination Notice from Affiliate of Biglari

Jack in the Box

This less than $2 billion market cap company posted better-than-expected earnings for the most recent quarter, though revenue fell short. The long-term EPS growth forecast is more than 19 percent and the PEG ratio is lower than those of larger competitors McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) and Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM).

Just five of the 14 surveyed analysts polled recommend buying shares, but only one rates the stock at Underperform. Analysts see a little room for shares to run, as their mean price target is almost six percent higher than the current share price. That would be a new multiyear high.

The share price is up more than 13 percent in the past three months and reached the current multiyear high earlier in August. Jack in the Box has outperformed the competitors mentioned above and the broader markets over the past six months, though it underperformed Wendy's (NASDAQ: WEN).

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

Posted-In: Biglari Holdings Bob Evans Farms Brinker International Cracker Barrel Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Denny'sRestaurants Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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