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Deep Dive: At these three restaurant companies, the stock is the main course

Investors have had little appetite for U.S. restaurant stocks, as changing tastes and a drop in mall traffic hurt publicly traded chains.

Still, three companies have been able to increase sales per share by double digits without sacrificing profit margins to do so. We’ll get to that trio below.

For starters, here’s the latest round of S&P 500 SPX, +0.18% sector earnings growth estimates from S&P Global Market Intelligence for the first quarter, from May 19, when more than 90% of companies had reported:

S&P 500 sector Earnings per share – most recent quarter EPS – year earlier EPS increase
Consumer Discretionary $8.01 $7.68 4.3%
Consumer Staples $6.08 $5.85 3.9%
Energy $3.24 -$0.35 N/A
Financials $6.74 $5.60 20.3%
Health Care $13.36 $12.68 5.4%
Industrials $6.37 $6.13 3.9%
Information Technology $11.89 $9.72 22.3%
Materials $4.72 $3.93 20.2%
Real Estate $1.18 $1.03 14.9%
Telecommunications Services $3.05 $3.21 -4.8%
Utilities $3.72 $3.63 2.4%
S&P 500 $30.63 $26.54 15.4%
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

That’s an impressive set of numbers.

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