Cheesecake Factory (Nasdaq: CAKE) reported fourth-quarter earnings Thursday, and the results show the company continues to have strong business momentum. In addition to delivering the eighth consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales, Cheesecake Factory closed the fiscal year with a 90% year-over-year gain in earnings per share. But with shares at 22 times trailing earnings, is the stock as good as the business?

First, it's important to note the strength of Cheesecake Factory's business compared to competitors'. Comparable sales for the full year were up 2%, the best they've been in six years. Competitor California Pizza Kitchen (Nasdaq: CPKI), on the other hand, experienced negative comps to the tune of 2.4%, while Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD) had barely positive comps of 0.6% at its company-owned locations and negative 0.2% at its franchises. While B-Dubs did increase revenue, this was almost entirely because of the 80 new stores it opened during the year, masking their tepid performance. Cheesecake Factory experienced more modest revenue growth but with only three net new locations.

These results are especially impressive against the weather backdrop of the last year, which has been blamed for everything from bad employment numbers to light after-Christmas shopping. In California, where 20% of Cheesecake Factory's company-owned stores are located, restaurants such as California Pizza Kitchen and Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA) have suffered from a combination of the weather and especially high unemployment. Either other restaurateurs are just making excuses, or Cheesecake Factory's business is pretty solid. And it could be both.

The stock, on the other hand, is less attractive, sitting at a P/E of about 22, while the average for the industry is about 24. Basically, the market is already well aware of Cheesecake Factory's strong business and has priced it accordingly. The shares aren't really particularly expensive, but there's nothing that screams buying opportunity either. In fact, this is an almost perfectly average stock.

The good news is that the shares are taking a bit of a beating today, and with the strong year-over-year improvement in earnings, and to a lesser extent sales, these valuation metrics have improved somewhat. With the new quarter's earnings added in, the P/E has come down from a rather high 30. If the market continues to be disappointed by future earnings improvements, the stock could get progressively more attractive. The best thing to do for now, though, is to just add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Jacob Roche owns shares of Jamba but holds no position in any of the other companies mentioned. Buffalo Wild Wings is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.