Which Fast Food Stocks have the Strongest Earnings Trends After Jack In The Box Earnings?

Earnings trends are extremely important when evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how the top 4 fast food stocks rank via earnings trends:

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK): Current Price $31.70

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 2,540 2,471 1,900 1,662 1,545
Diluted EPS ($) 2.01 2.05 1.26 1.61 1.28

We’re not impressed with the way revenue and EPS has fallen off between 2009 and 2012 at Jack in the Box.

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Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 652.72 506.63 501.82 -116.14 465.52
Diluted EPS ($) 0.27 0.48 0.26 0.27 0.47

The company, however, got its act together in the December 2012 quarter, showing a sharp jump in revenue and EPS. It remains on our radar…