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Renewed Appetite for Restaurant Stocks

Here's a smorgasbord of stocks that offer tasty returns.

By Chuck LeBeau, director of analytics at

Restaurant stocks were particularly hard hit in 2008 as investors lost their appetite for stocks in general and assumed that the failing economy and unemployment would keep restaurant customers at home. For a while it looked like many chains might be facing bankruptcy. However, those grim predictions have not materialized and restaurant stocks have recovered nicely along with the rest of the market. Here is a buffet of restaurant stocks to stimulate your appetite for profits.

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Bob Evans Farms


has jumped more than 20% since it closed at $26.80 on Tuesday of this week. The firm operates Mimi's Café and Bob Evans restaurants. Last week the company reported earnings of 69 cents per share for the quarter ended April 24 vs. 52 cents per share a year ago.

Shares of

Cheesecake Factory

(CAKE) - Get Report

have recovered and nearly tripled from a March low of $6.84 with a May high of $18.53.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

(CMG) - Get Report

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has seen its stock bounce from a December low of $36.86 to trade above $92 in May.

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

had a November low of $13.21 and reached $41.21 in April.

Ruth's Hospitality Group

(RUTH) - Get Report

looked unappetizing in March when it was trading at 74 cents. Recently it has traded above $4.

Yum Brands

(YUM) - Get Report

had a low of $23.37 in March and has been trading above $36 this week.

Chasing after these fast moving stocks is not without its risks. According to the latest information from, here are the price levels that would indicate that these stocks are trouble: Bob Evans at $25.43; Cheesecake Factory at $14.60; Chipotle at $75.91; Darden at $32.95; Ruth's at $3.27; and Yum! at $32.52.

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