Traders Sell Denny’s and Buy Tesla After Earnings

Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ:DENN) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for Denny’s Corporation rose to $92 million (94 cents per share) vs. $2.7 million (3 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a substantial increase from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 4.2% to $130.2 million from the year earlier quarter. Denny’s Corporation beat the mean analyst estimate of 8 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $131.4 million.

John Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “In 2011 Denny’s made great progress as we generated positive same-store sales and guest counts overcoming the ongoing challenging consumer economic environment. This is a testament to the success of our positioning as America’s favorite diner, emphasizing everyday affordability with attractive Limited Time Only products. We are encouraged about the progress we have made thus far. We will continue to work closely with our franchisees to maintain the growth in new units, sales and profitability, while generating additional free cash flow to further strengthen our balance sheet and repurchase shares in our efforts to increase long-term shareholder value.”

Competitors to Watch: DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE:DIN), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL), Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOBE), Biglari Holdings Inc (NYSE:BH), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), O’Charley’s Inc. (NASDAQ:CHUX), Famous Dave’s of America, Inc. (NASDAQ:DAVE), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (NYSE:MRT), and Flanigan’s Enterprises, Inc. (AMEX:BDL).

Tesla Motors Inc. ‘s (NASDAQ:TSLA) loss widened in the fourth quarter, as the company’s results were dragged down by higher costs. Loss widened to $81.5 million (78 cents per diluted share) from $51.4 million (loss of 54 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose 8.5% to $39.4 million from the year earlier quarter. Tesla Motors Inc. reported an adjusted net loss of 69 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of a loss of 69 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $38.5 million.

Competitors to Watch: Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. (NYSE:HMC), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Tata Motors Limited (NYSE:TTM), Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPAR), and Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com