The hamburger business is booming at a time when the news backdrop is not good. There to buffet earnings are high fuel prices, lots of drive-through and sit-down competition, health concerns, low-carbohydrate diets, and high beef prices. Yet the purveyors of hamburgers keep upping their earnings guidance.
The latest to see a better quarter ahead is Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
While rival Steak 'n Shake
Also consider CKE Restaurants
But there are companies getting fat while sales are booming. McDonald's
Good results can also be found at Wendy's
Great news does not automatically become great value. Red Robin sells for 26 times 2005 earnings -- hardly value priced. Even Sonic sells for a high 21 times 2005 estimates. But consider McDonald's. At 14 times 2005 earnings, Mickey D's is growing and fattening its balance sheet at a time when the burger business is sizzling.
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Fool contributor W.D. Crotty owns stock in McDonald's.