AFC Enterprises

Altman Z-Score, Current: 1.84

Altman Z-Score, 2009: 1.46

Of all the restaurants on our list, AFC Enterprises ( AFCE) came closest to the distressed zone without actually falling into it, achieving a Z-Score of 1.84.

Its ranking was far from stellar, but certainly an improvement from its 2009 red-flag score of 1.46.

The operator of Popeyes restaurants recently posted a 6.3% jump in quarterly profits thanks to lower costs. Results beat expectations and the fast food chain raised its full-year guidance.

AFC upped its earnings outlook by two cents, and now expects to earn between 75 cents and 79 cents per year in 2010, in line with analysts' consensus call.

If you liked this article you might like

Most Restaurant Stocks Remain Tough to Swallow

The Ruby Tuesday Disaster Continues

Why Hurricane Harvey Has Flooded These Restaurant Stocks With Sell Orders

It's Hard to Work Up an Appetite for Most Restaurant Stocks