DENN: Updating Our Stock Rating and EPS Projections

By Ryan D. Lavender Published on February 8, 2021 at 2:57 PM

With this note, we change our rating on Denny’s (DENN; $17.41) to Neutral (from Buy). This change reflects: (1) lowered EPS estimates for 2021E and 2022E, and (2) a reduced same-store sales forecast for Q1E 2021, despite what appears to be some meaningful help from a calendar-shift effect related to Denny’s 2020 being a 53-week fiscal year, and (3) being mindful of DENN shares’ run-up from their 52-week low of $4.50 (intraday March 19, 2020) to $17.41 as of this past Friday’s market close. (FYI, the stock is also up +18.6% year-to-date.)

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DPZ Updating Our Rating on Domino’s

By Mark Kalinowski Published on May 12, 2020 at 12:00 AM

With this report, we upgrade our rating on the shares of Domino’s (DPZ) to Buy (from Neutral). Our upgrade is based on multiple factors, including: (1) we raise our Q2E U.S. same-store sales forecast by +190 basis points, to +8.6% — not only above sellside consensus (according to Consensus Metrix) of +6.8%, but also the new “highon-the-sell-side” forecast, (2) this summer’s new U.S. product launch could prove to be a hit, (3) while we are not modeling a meaningful international sales rebound, it could happen as more countries come back on line with their operations (for example, as of late April, only about 70% of Domino’s France stores were back open), (4) Domino’s company-owned stores (which represent about 2% of the worldwide store base, but which we calculate generate approximately 10%-11% of worldwide operating profits) should see their operating margins helped by lower cheese costs over Q2E-Q4E, and (5) while we are not predicting another massive shutdown of stores/lockdown orders/etc. for 6-12 months from now, if COVID-19 issues lead to such a circumstance several months from now — particularly over winter 2020-21; winters are relatively friendlier to respiratory viruses — Domino’s delivery & carryout focused business model should be more resistant than nearly all other business models in the restaurant industry.

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YUM Updating Our Rating on Yum Brands

By Mark Kalinowski Published on April 24, 2020 at 12:00 AM

With this report, we change our rating on Yum Brands (YUM; $85.61) to Neutral (from Buy). This change largely reflects the following factors: (1) currencies that may work against Yum’s earnings over the remainder of 2020, (2) other costs that may creep up in Q2, (3) the possibility of store closures hurting Q2 by more than the Street anticipates, (4) possible same-store sales issues at Taco Bell, and (5) YUM shares’ +55% rise off of its 52-week low, which has allowed it to come within less than 50 cents of our $86 target price (which we now move to “NA” with this report. We note the following:

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