Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory Gain on Upgrades

CALABASAS HILLS, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG) and Cheesecake Factory ( CAKE) shares jumped Thursday morning following analyst upgrades for the pair of restaurant stocks.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ( BAC) analyst Joseph T. Buckley upgraded his rating on Cheesecake Factory shares to buy, from neutral.

Cheesecake Factory shares jumped 3.5% to $30.43 following the upgrade.

The casual dining chain's shares had tumbled on Tuesday after Cheesecake Factory offered disappointing preliminary fourth-quarter sales figures .

The restaurant operator said unaudited revenue for its fiscal-fourth quarter, ended Dec. 28, was $417 million, up from $401 million in the year-earlier period. The top-line figure disappointed Wall Street. Analysts' consensus call was for quarterly sales of $418.3 million.

Earlier this week, analysts from Piper Jaffray ( PJC) issued an upgrade on Cheesecake share to neutral, from underweight.

In October, Barclays Capital reiterated an equal weight rating on the stock, raising their price target by a dollar to $29.

Elsewhere in the restaurant sector, shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill were upgraded to buy from hold by analysts at Miller Tabak.

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