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Traditional Fast Food Stocks Q1 Recap: Benchmarking Portillo's (NASDAQ:PTLO)


Max Juang /
2024/06/05 7:05 am EDT

As the craze of earnings season draws to a close, here's a look back at some of the most exciting (and some less so) results from Q1. Today, we are looking at traditional fast food stocks, starting with Portillo's (NASDAQ:PTLO).

Traditional fast-food restaurants are renowned for their speed and convenience, boasting menus filled with familiar and budget-friendly items. Their reputations for on-the-go consumption make them favored destinations for individuals and families needing a quick meal. This class of restaurants, however, is fighting the perception that their meals are unhealthy and made with inferior ingredients, a battle that's especially relevant today given the consumers increasing focus on health and wellness.

The 14 traditional fast food stocks we track reported a decent Q1; on average, revenues were in line with analyst consensus estimates. Stocks, especially growth stocks where cash flows further in the future are more important to the story, had a good end of 2023. But the beginning of 2024 has seen more volatile stock performance due to mixed inflation data, and while some of the traditional fast food stocks have fared somewhat better than others, they collectively declined, with share prices falling 2.4% on average since the previous earnings results.

Portillo's (NASDAQ:PTLO)

Begun as a Chicago hot dog stand in 1963, Portillo’s (NASDAQ:PTLO) is a casual restaurant chain that serves Chicago-style hot dogs and beef sandwiches as well as fries and shakes.

Portillo's reported revenues of $165.8 million, up 6.3% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 5.2%. It was a mixed quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' earnings estimates but a miss of analysts' gross margin estimates.

Michael Osanloo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Portillo’s, said “It’s an exciting time at Portillo’s. We’re proud of how we exited the quarter and will continue to build top-line momentum through disciplined sales-driving initiatives and new unit development. Today we revealed Portillo’s four strategic pillars, which will guide our 2024 goals and serve as the foundation for quality growth. Running world class operations, innovating and amplifying the Portillo’s Experience, building restaurants with industry-leading returns, and taking great care of our teams are the primary drivers of value creation at Portillo’s.”

Portillo's Total Revenue

The stock is down 14.9% since the results and currently trades at $10.32.

Read our full report on Portillo's here, it's free.

Best Q1: El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO)

With a name that translates into ‘The Crazy Chicken’, El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO) is a fast food chain known for its citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken recipe that hails from the coastal town of Sinaloa, Mexico.

El Pollo Loco reported revenues of $116.2 million, up 1.4% year on year, outperforming analysts' expectations by 4.6%. It was an incredible quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

El Pollo Loco Total Revenue

The stock is up 28.2% since the results and currently trades at $11.01.

Is now the time to buy El Pollo Loco? Access our full analysis of the earnings results here, it's free.

Weakest Q1: Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Started by three friends in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is a globally-renowned coffeehouse chain that offers a wide selection of high-quality coffee, beverages, and food items.

Starbucks reported revenues of $8.56 billion, down 1.8% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 6.5%. It was a weak quarter for the company, with a miss of analysts' revenue and earnings estimates.

The stock is down 6.7% since the results and currently trades at $82.65.

Read our full analysis of Starbucks's results here.

Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN)

Founded by Dave Thomas in 1969, Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) is a renowned fast-food chain known for its fresh, never-frozen beef burgers, flavorful menu options, and commitment to quality.

Wendy's reported revenues of $534.8 million, up 1.1% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 1.1%. It was a solid quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' gross margin estimates and a decent beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

The stock is down 12% since the results and currently trades at $17.28.

Read our full, actionable report on Wendy's here, it's free.

Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK)

Delighting customers since its inception in 1951, Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) is a distinctive fast-food chain known for its bold flavors, innovative menu items, and quirky marketing.

Jack in the Box reported revenues of $365.3 million, down 7.7% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 1.2%. It was a mixed quarter for the company: Jack in the Box beat analysts' gross margin, adjusted EBITDA, and EPS expectations. On the other hand, its same-store sales unfortunately missed analysts' expectations, leading to a revenue miss as well.

Jack in the Box had the slowest revenue growth among its peers. The stock is up 7.1% since the results and currently trades at $56.85.

Read our full, actionable report on Jack in the Box here, it's free.

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