The real story started when Patrick Walsh (a hedge fund manager) bought 10% of the stock and John Gilbert became CEO. Hedge funds are not interested in keeping the status quo of a company. Patrick Walsh got himself installed on the board during the last annual meeting. Since that time, they have started paying off long term debt rather than buying back stock. They are getting serious about expanding. They also cut about 35% of upper management which is approx. when the stock started going up .I'm guessing the latest action in this stock is from momentum type traders jumping on for the ride. The stock is still very small so can be moved pretty easily. Watch for more increases next week.
I complained about the debt in previous posts. This is what really bothered me, so I hope you are right and they continue to pay it down. I've been to several Dave's, and my feeling is they don't do well with the snob demographic. I think this is why they have struggled lately. There is a group of people, who are not necessarily wealthier, but who spend more recklessly , who have propped up sales in other restaurants like Ruth Chris. I don't think Dave's should change, but they should be very careful about expansion and pay down debt. If a restaurant like Texas Roadhouse TXRH can have a market cap close to 2 billion, there is surely potential for Dave's.