Barrons :Holy Guacamole! These Dining Shares Look Pricey
But the good news seems baked into many companies' shares. Among the richest stocks in the group are Chipotle, BJ's, Panera Bread (PNRA) and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB), which trade for an average of more than 30 times analysts' consensus earnings estimates for 2011, well above the industry average of 19.
Such valuations, which have attracted a sizable cadre of short-sellers, imply a smooth upward trajectory in same-store sales growth, flawless execution of expansion plans and a robust economic recovery, are "getting ahead of themselves," says Morningstar restaurant analyst R.J. Hottovy. "The market is backing in expectations that are unrealistic."