Shares of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL -0.21%) jumped nearly 14% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The casual-dining chain delivered first-quarter earnings that made investors happy.
Cracker Barrel entered November with some momentum following an analyst upgrade. In mid-October, Telsey Advisory Group boosted its rating on the stock from "market perform" to "outperform." The research firm said at the time that it expected Cracker Barrel's comparable sales and profits to improve.
That call proved prescient. On Nov. 27, Cracker Barrel reported fiscal first-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The restaurant chain saw revenue rise by 3.3% to $773.5 million, driven by a 1.4% increase in comparable store restaurant sales and a 4.3% jump in retail comps. That helped Cracker Barrel's earnings per share improve by 2.1% to $1.96, which beat the consensus analyst estimate of $1.91.
Cracker Barrel's shares have pulled back a couple of percentage points in December along with the overall market. Yet the stock still trades for more than 18 times forward earnings estimates. That's a bit rich for a restaurant chain that's projected to grow its earnings by only about 5% in the year ahead. So if you're looking for a restaurant stock to add to your portfolio, you may want to look at some tastier options.