NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet's Jim Cramer notes Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen  (PLKI) reported its latest quarterly results that were "nothing to write home about," but the stock still increased. He reasons the stock has the potential to soar once the company reports earnings that beat expectations.

Cramer expects this to happen under the leadership of CEO Cheryl Bachelder, one of his "Bankable CEOs." Bachelder has produced incredible performance for Popeyes in the last several years, similar to Sally Smith (another "Bankable CEO") at Buffalo Wild Wings  (BWLD). 

Cramer says now is an opportunity to get into Popeyes before it starts to report strong numbers and the stock surges. Once it does, he thinks the stock could hit $50.

Must Watch: Popeyes' Cheryl Bachelder is One of Jim Cramer's 'Bankable CEOs'

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN (PLKI) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 27.58% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 29.22% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PLKI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN has improved earnings per share by 27.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN increased its bottom line by earning $1.25 versus $0.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.61 versus $1.25).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 30.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.90 million to $9.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $13.70 million or 14.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -51.97%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PLKI Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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