DineEquity The restaurant chain reported on March 1 fourth-quarter earnings of $27.3 million, or $1.55 a share, a swing from a year-earlier loss of $58.1 million, or $3.33.. Shares of DineEquity were upgraded to buy from hold by TheStreet Ratings. "We believe shares hold the potential for 30%+ appreciation in 2012 driven by its attractive franchised model (mitigating inflation pressures), high FCF, ongoing balance sheet de-leverage, and an attractive valuation," Morgan Keegan analysts wrote in a Jan. 5 report. DineEquity has a forward P/E of 11.71; the average for restaurant and bar companies is 19.12. For comparison, both Cheesecake ( CAKE) and Cracker Barrel ( CBRL) have higher forward P/Es of 13.87 and 11.76, respectively. Analysts were split on DineEquity with four rating it buy, another four giving it a hold rating and one rating it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives DineEquity a B- grade with a buy rating and a $62.31 price target. The stock closed Friday at $50.93 and has risen 20.66% year to date.