It's been a busy week for restaurant stocks, so I hope you're hungry. Let's dig into a few of the earnings reports and headlines that you can cut like a knife.
1. McDonald's says please to less cheese
Get moving, double cheeseburger. McDonald's
Mickey D's would then introduce the McDouble into the buck-priced menu. The new burger is pretty much identical to the double cheeseburger, except it has one slice of cheese instead of two.
If that's the only thing separating the two in a police lineup, burger fans would have to be McStupid to pay 20% more for a single slice of cheese. Right?
2. What's in a name?
You won't have CBRL Group
It makes perfect sense. Taking on its ticker symbol as a corporate moniker may have made sense a few years ago when the company was watching over its Logan's Roadhouse casual steakhouse concept as well as its biscuits-and-butter Cracker Barrel chain of Southern cooking eateries, but Logan's is gone. This is all about Cracker Barrel, rocking chairs and all.
The name change was announced two days after the company wowed investors by posting better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results. Despite posting negative comps for the period, a combination of shrewd cost controls and aggressive share repurchases kept earnings buoyant on a per-share basis.
3. Wings can fly
Not all analysts are down on restaurant stocks these days. Jefferies & Co.'s Jeff Farmer upgraded shares of chicken wing specialist Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings wasn't the only chain getting some analyst love this week, as a SunTrust Humphrey Robinson analyst upgraded shares of fast-food icon CKE Restaurants
4. Deals can fly, too
More companies are making gift certificate purchases more worthwhile. DineEquity's
5. A saucy Web we weave
Finally, the online initiatives at Papa John's
It's all about reaching the end-user. Now that folks are spending more time surfing the Web, keeping up with friends on social networks, time-shifting programs on their DVRs, and being glued to their smart phones, pizza delivery chains need to be there. After all, they've been marketing convenience for ages. Pizza and the Web belong together. Just don't get any tomato sauce on your monitor.
Check out this week's dessert specials: