The company -- which oversees franchise restaurant chains like Applebee's and IHOP -- released its latest earnings results yesterday, reporting fourth quarter net income of $25.4 million, swinging to a profit after reporting a loss in the year ago period.
The company reported earnings of $1.59 per share, topping analysts' $1.34 per share expectations. Revenue of $171.3 million topped Zacks consensus estimate of $168 million.
Separately, the company declared a first quarter cash dividend of $0.92 per share payable April 8 to shareholders of record on March 18.
TheStreet Ratings upgraded the stock to "hold" from "sell" today on the back of the strong quarter while also raising its letter grade to B from C+. TheStreet Ratings said that the company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. TheStreet feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.
TheStreet chartist Bruce Kamich took a contrarian view to the upgrade.
"DineEquity had declined from near $115 to below $80 in the past year and then traded sideways the past four months. The question is whether a four-month consolidation is enough repair after the previous decline. The On Balance Volume (OBV) line, above, worked modestly higher in October, November and December and then weakened in the new year. We'll call that mixed," said Kamich. "Our conclusion: DineEquity has broken out of a small and unimpressive four-month base. Can the longer-term chart, below, add clarity?"
"The weekly chart of DineEquity, above, suggests not to get too excited about the stock's recent rally. Price just crossed above the declining 40-week moving average, but it won't take much of a pullback to be back below the average line," Kamich added.