Which Restaurant Stocks Have the Strongest Earnings Trends?

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’).

Stocks with improving earnings metrics are worthy of your extra attention. Click here to discover our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how the top 5 restaurant stocks rank via earnings trends:

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD): Current Price $93.72

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 23,520 22,740 24,070 27,010 27,570
Diluted EPS ($) 3.76 4.11 4.58 5.27 5.36

We see steady growth in revenue and EPS numbers at McDonald’s.

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 ($) in millions 6,823 6,547 6,916 7,152 6,952
Diluted EPS ($) 1.32 1.23 1.32 1.43 1.38

However, quarterly revenue and EPS numbers seem to have hit a plateau. Let’s hunt for more promising candidates…