NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tuesday was a good day in restaurant land. A number of companies reported quarterly results, and all of them exceeded consensus estimates for both revenue and earnings.
The restaurant sector continues to perform quite well; a basket of 33 names that I follow is up an average of 23.5% year to date, more than 1,100 basis points better than the S&P 500.
The restaurant sector has turned in a couple of years of blistering performance, but now many observers fear a slowdown caused by rising commodity costs.
Although some prices have risen, they haven't been sufficient to keep the the consumer away for the most part, and even in a still-challenged economy, eating outside the home appears to be one of our nation's greatest pastimes.On Tuesday, Denny's (DENN), Bloomin Brands (BLMN), Del Frisco's (DFRG) and Domino's Pizza (DPZ) all reported first-quarter results; you could not find a more diverse set of restaurant names.
Denny's, the back-from-bankruptcy work in progress, continues to move the ball forward. The company reported EPS of 8 cents, a penny better than the 7-cent consensus. Actual revenue of $114.5 million topped the consensus estimate of $112.7 million. The company continues to whittle away at what was once substantial debt. It's also buying back shares. If there was any negative news, it was that same-store sales were down 0.7% vs. last year. Still, the comeback continues. I closed my Denny's position late in 2012 after a very nice run and left some money on the table. It's nice to see that the company at last has a positive book value per share (2 cents), as small as that may be. DENN data by YCharts
Meanwhile, Domino's continues to deliver, beating consensus estimates of 55 cents by 4 cents. This name has taken the industry by storm ever since a brilliant advertising campaign a few years ago where the company admitted that it's pizza recipe was not as good as it could be, and changed the formula. Shares are up more than fivefold since 2010. DPZ data by YCharts
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV