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12 Restaurant Stocks at 52-Week Highs

Brinker International

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Brinker International (EAT - Get Report)

52-Week High Reached Tuesday: $22.56

Bar-and-grill restaurant chains like Brinker International's Chili's have generally poor fundamentals coming out of the recent recession relative to other restaurants in the casual dining space, said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Steve West.

While the segment is doing poorly, stocks were so depressed at the start of 2010 that significant share price percentage gains in the year were, in large part, a simple bounce off serious lows, West said.

The group focused heavily on "extreme discounting" in 2010 as a means of luring customers in the door. Brinker's revenue fell 6% in the recent quarter , in part because of heavy promotions. Another drawback to the strategy is the training of its customer base to only buy when heavy promotions are offered. (Think DineEquity's (DIN) Applebee's big promotion of two entrees plus an appetizer for $20. Chili's offered the same thing. With such similar menus among the pair, customers' opt to go where the discounts are steeper.)

That means customers will either wait to dine at Chili's until there is a discount, or save up their money and trade up to chains like Cheesecake Factory (CAKE - Get Report), West said.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
CAKE $52.98 0.00%
DRI $67.01 0.00%
EAT $57.59 0.00%
MCD $98.74 0.00%
PEJ $38.26 0.00%

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