Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) reported second-quarter revenue of $1.05 billion last week, roughly in line with consensus estimates. Adjusted earnings per share was $0.33, beating consensus projections of $0.29. The company continues to recover from shutdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, with strength in its drive-thru and take-out business bolstering operations.
The quick-service restaurant company, which owns Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, is well-positioned in the current environment where restaurants are subject to in-store dining capacity restrictions and some consumers are still nervous about visiting restaurants due to COVID-19.
Here are three reasons why Restaurant Brands International is potentially a good investment following its recent earnings report.
1. Restaurant Brands revenue is rebounding from shutdown-induced lows
While Restaurant Brands experienced a drop in its revenue due to COVID-19 earlier this year, by the end of the second quarter its revenue had rebounded to 90% of prior systemwide sales and 93% of global restaurants were open. While dining rooms are only open in about a third of the company's restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, the strength in Restaurant Brands' takeout and delivery business is expected to offset this. Fast-food restaurants are more resilient than those that depend on dine-in, which are hurt by pauses in reopening orders.
Industry data provider Black Box Intelligence noted that revenue at quick-service restaurants had increases in year-over-year sales in the last two weeks ending July 12. On the other hand, the full-service category stagnated for the three-week period ending July 12. This disparity was due to renewed restrictions around COVID-19 regulations.
2. Digital and drive-thru got huge boosts in the quarter
Drive-thru revenue was strong during the quarter. Comparable drive-thru sales increased by over 100% at Popeyes and over 20% at Burger King at the end of April. The company's delivery business is also thriving. CEO Jose Cil noted on the second-quarter earnings call, "In the second quarter, we also continue to serve millions of guests via our rapidly expanding delivery channel where comparable sales grew well into triple digits across all three brands in our home markets."
Cil was also optimistic about digital investments boosting revenue for the company. "It was encouraging to see our investments in digital channels drive meaningful incremental sales in the quarter and we're excited that in our home markets, digital sales across brands grew over 120% year-over-year and more than 30% quarter over quarter," he said in a company press release.
3. Popeyes continues to outperform
Revenue from Popeyes increased by 24% to $1.2 billion in the second quarter, with global comparable sales growth of 25%. U.S. revenue was especially strong, with an increase of 29%. Sales at the division were boosted by strong off-premise (delivery, carryout, and catering) revenue and demand for Popeyes' popular chicken sandwich.
Management sees off-premise strength continuing, helped by strong performance from its new family offers. In July, Restaurant Brands launched the Pizza Party Crashers campaign to continue the momentum from family offers.
"A large part of this growth can be clearly attributed to the chicken sandwich, but in Q2, we saw significant growth across every category of our menu," Cil said on the earnings call. Popeyes delivery sales increased about four times year over year, helped by Restaurant Brands' mobile apps.
The company is confident in its financial position and recovery
The company has a debt ratio of 0.82, which indicates more assets than debt and a comfortable financial position. Restaurant Brands also ended the quarter with $1.5 billion in cash. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, the restaurant group drew down its $1 billion revolving line of credit but repaid this amount in full at the end of the second quarter. CFO Matthew Dunnigan explained that this decision was due to the "confidence we have in the strength of our business model."
Restaurant Brands International will likely continue to experience tailwinds to its revenue and recovery from COVID-19-induced lows. It is well-positioned with its digital and drive-thru features to drive off-premise sales and offset reduced dine-in capacity. Shares of the consumer discretionary company look appealing for investors who want exposure to the restaurant space.