Posts by Chris Nichols
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance3 days ago
When Chipotle (CMG) reports earnings Oct. 20, it will do so amid a level of optimism unlike any seen in at least the past four years -- and if it doesn't deliver, shares may be in for a very long day.
Third-quarter earnings per share at the Denver-based burrito seller are estimated to soar more than 40% from last year, while sales for the more than 1,600-store restaurant operator should climb almost 30%, Wall Street is forecasting. One might imagine this wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a fast-growing company with a winning stock and food-selling formula that keeps drawing adherents, but, in fact, it isn't ordinary at all. Over the last five years, analysts have never called for the amount of year-over-year growth from the chain that they are this time, according to FactSet.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance5 days ago
As restaurant investors get ready for another earnings season, analysts are calling for year-over-year revenue and earnings gains for most of the largest names, but the biggest of all will surprise Wall Street only if it doesn't post declines. That would be McDonald's (MCD).
It hasn't been the best year for the Oak Brook, Ill., Big Mac and fries seller, which will report its numbers Oct. 21. When it does, analysts are forecasting third-quarter earnings of $1.38 a share, according to FactSet estimates, with revenue of $7.21 billion. Both would be down from last year, when the company earned $1.52 with revenue of $7.32 billion.
Sales have been slowed for some time, and customer counts have been in retreat, even before a summer investigation involving a China supplier led to a revenue drop in Asia. (Still, the shares have been resilient, holding up fairly well and showing a year-to-date loss of only 5.9%. And it even got a record high earlier in 2014 before falling back.)
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance6 days ago
Domino's (DPZ) traded up to an all-time high Tuesday after its quarterly results topped estimates, sending the shares climbing 9%.
Recently, the Ann Arbor, Mich., pizza maker was gaining 9.2% to $82.65. At its peak, the shares were at $82.86, according to Yahoo Finance data.
The advance followed the announcement that earnings for the third quarter were 63 cents a share, 2 cents better than expected, with revenue that rose 10.5% from a year earlier to almost $447 million. That also surpassed estimates, as did same-store sales. Domestic same-store sales climbed 7.7%, while the international division had a comparable-sales increase of 7.1%.
Domino's, the second-largest U.S. pizza seller after Pizza Hut, has reworked its recipes and now has a store-remodeling program that's being implemented. Overall revenue was lifted by higher supply-chain sales and commodity prices, especially cheese, as well as increased equipment and supply sales to stores that are remodeling.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance7 days ago
McDonald's (MCD) is starting a new effort to convince the world it's selling "real" food, with a social media question-and-answer campaign, supported by videos featuring Grant Imahara, formerly of the show "MythBusters."
Through a campaign called "Our food. Your questions," McDonald's is asking the public to submit questions, and it's offering prepared answers on its website to a series of those that are frequently asked. The McDonald's site today features inquiries it's heard over the years, including: "Is 'pink slime' in a Chicken McNugget?" and "Is the McRib made from real pork?" Another is, "Why doesn't your food rot?" If you're curious about what's in the Big Mac sauce, ingredients include soybean oil and pickle relish. In addition to its site, McDonald's will answer questions on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance10 days ago
With competition for Americans' dining dollars as fierce as ever, being clearly unique in a crowded market couldn't matter more.
Stephen King, the CEO of the once-again publicly traded Dave & Buster's Entertainment (PLAY), hopes his combination restaurant and game center will provide a formula to enable his Dallas-based company to triple in size from its current base of 70 U.S. and Canadian locations.
"I think that, at this point, differentiation has never been more important," he says. Based on customer surveys, "what is very clear is we are viewed as way more differentiated than any other brand in the casual space. That's what it's going to take going forward."
Dave & Buster's returned to the market Friday following eight years away and rose on its first day. Its intraday high of $18.43 was up 8.4% from its opening trading price. The company, which gets about half of its revenue from its restaurant and bar operations and the other half from its games, had estimated that its initial public offering would price between $16 and $18.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance11 days ago
Ruby Tuesday (RT) was having one of the best days in its history Thursday as earnings and same-store sales surpassed estimates, sending shares up 18%.
Prior to the report, the stock was down 14.6% for the year. Shares have fallen in two of the last three years as worries about the business have grown. In 2013, Ruby Tuesday was one of the few restaurants to decline in a group that rose an average of 51%. Based on today's results, it seems the casual-dining company's efforts to restructure costs, close stores and change menu items offer some reason for optimism. The stock has now turned positive for the year, recently gaining $1.05 to $6.97.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance12 days ago
Starbucks (SBUX) is again the favorite restaurant chain among U.S. teens, according to the latest spending survey from Piper Jaffray.
The Seattle-based coffee seller, Taco Bell, Chipotle (CMG) and McDonald's (MCD) all rank highly with this demographic when asked to choose the favorite restaurants. Piper has two lists, one for upper-income respondents and another for average-income respondents, and here are the results, in order:
--Upper income (household income of $109,000): Starbucks, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts
--Average income (household income of $56,000): Starbucks, McDonald's, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell
Starbucks has been No. 1 with both groups for each of the last eight surveys. Chipotle has been a consistent No. 2 with upper-income teens, while McDonald's has held that spot for the average-income group.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance13 days ago
A few considerations for your next trip to the drive-thru: If order accuracy matters to you, go at lunch. If you want greater odds of friendly employees, sandwich chains are the place to be.
These were among the findings of a new survey released Monday by QSR Magazine, a publication that closely tracks the nation's chain restaurants. Each year, QSR works with a research group to gather data on the performance of a set of well-known brands. Results for 2014 are based on 2,188 visits to 23 restaurants in three categories -- burgers, chicken and sandwiches -- and at five times of day -- breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snack and late night.
Convenience is arguably the most common reason for choosing drive-thru over sit-down. Drive-thru regularly accounts for about two-thirds of sales at an American store operator that has windows. Measured by time of day, orders were correct 87.2% of the time, with lunch the best at 88.9%. Dinner was the worst, with 83.6% accuracy. By food type, sandwich chains performed the best, with 87.5% accuracy. Burger chains were the worst, at 85.2%.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance21 days ago
At Panera Bread (PNRA), you're getting the option of dealing with a kiosk at the store instead of a cashier. Visit the local Chili's and you'll see tablets at the booth to help with orders. If you find the Domino's (DPZ) app too reliant on buttons, don't worry -- you can start interacting with a computerized voice.
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) is installing tabletop tablets for ordering chicken and listening to music. Wendy's (WEN), Starbucks (SBUX) and Chipotle (CMG) let you pay for and order your fries, coffee or burritos on smartphones. It goes on and on.
- Chris Nichols at Yahoo Finance28 days ago
KFC and Taco Bell, two of the three main units of Yum Brands (YUM), have stepped out of their fast-food comfort zone to try and gain a foothold in the rapidly expanding fast-casual restaurant space. The third one hasn't. That's Plano, Texas-based Pizza Hut, the world's largest pizza chain, with almost 15,000 locations across the globe.
There's certainly no guarantee it will, but it wouldn't be a shock if it did expand into this realm, because pizza has its own developing fast-casual set of "craft" pizzerias. It's one of the buzzy restaurant trends being built around customization and less-processed ingredients, and large names are starting brands and investing in artisan pizza. Notably, Pizza Inn (PZZI) owns the expanding Pie Five chain, while Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) has acquired a stake in California-based PizzaRev, and Chipotle (CMG) has financially backed Colorado's Pizzeria Locale.