Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Jan 18. The company's focus
towards providing healthy food items to its customers and
continued expansion plan has led to the upgrade.
Why the Upgrade?
On Jan 10, Glendale, CA-based restaurateur DineEquity's
subsidiary Applebee's added 26 healthy food items including
entrees, sides, beverages and meals for children to provide more
Of late, U.S. eateries are serving a healthy menu, to cater to
consumer preference for fresh, organic, nutritious and
low-calorie food. Rising health concerns and increasing awareness
about obesity and related diseases have led to the shift in
consumer's preference toward healthy and "good for you"
Applebee's is consistently trying to expand its platter of
low-calorie foods. Since 2008, the company has been providing
Unbelievably Great Tasting & Under 550 Calories foods.
Applebee's has already tested these 26 items in all of its
restaurants which resulted in a significant drop in the ordering
of french fries. Therefore, the introduction of these low-calorie
food items is expected to gain huge popularity, going
Besides, the company is also on an expansion spree. DineEquity
unveiled its first IHOP restaurant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Dec
14, in association with franchise operator M.H. Alshaya Co. Other
IHOP restaurants opened with Alshaya are located in Kuwait and
the United Arab Emirates. In fact, with the help of Alshaya,
DineEquity intends to develop 40 restaurants across the Middle
East and North Africa, with plans to expand to Lebanon, Qatar,
Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.
DineEquity, through its subsidiaries and franchises, operates
restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and
IHOP Restaurant brands. It reported strong third quarter 2013
results on Oct 29, where both earnings and revenues beat the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20.9% and 2.3%, respectively.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other restaurateurs worth considering include
Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.
Jack In The Box
), both sporting a Zacks Rank #1.
The Cheesecake Factory Inc
) holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
CHEESECAKE FACT (CAKE): Free Stock Analysis
DINEEQUITY INC (DIN): Free Stock Analysis
FIESTA RESTRNT (FRGI): Free Stock Analysis
JACK IN THE BOX (JACK): Free Stock Analysis
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