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Winners And Losers Of Q1: Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) Vs The Rest Of The Traditional Fast Food Stocks


Adam Hejl /
2024/07/02 3:56 am EDT

The end of the earnings season is always a good time to take a step back and see who shined (and who not so much). Let’s take a look at how traditional fast food stocks fared in Q1, starting with Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN).

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 those trading at higher multiples--had a strong end of 2023, but 2024 has seen periods of volatility. Mixed signals about inflation have led to uncertainty around rate cuts, and traditional fast food stocks have had a rough stretch, with share prices down 5.9% on average since the previous earnings results.

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 momentum we built across our business in the first quarter puts us on track to achieve our 2024 outlook and on the path toward unlocking the full potential of the powerful Wendy's® brand," President and Chief Executive Officer Kirk Tanner said.

Wendy's Total Revenue

The stock is down 16.1% since the results and currently trades at $16.47.

Is now the time to buy Wendy's? Access our full analysis of the earnings results 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 and gross margin estimates.

El Pollo Loco Total Revenue

The stock is up 28.5% since the results and currently trades at $11.04.

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' earnings estimates.

The stock is down 12.9% since the results and currently trades at $77.12.

Read our full analysis of Starbucks's results here.

Dutch Bros (NYSE:BROS)

Started in 1992 by two brothers as a single pushcart, Dutch Bros (NYSE:BROS) is a dynamic coffee chain that’s captured the hearts of coffee enthusiasts across the United States.

Dutch Bros reported revenues of $275.1 million, up 39.5% year on year, surpassing analysts' expectations by 7.6%. It was an impressive quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

Dutch Bros delivered the biggest analyst estimates beat and fastest revenue growth among its peers. The stock is up 48% since the results and currently trades at $42.07.

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

Papa John's (NASDAQ:PZZA)

Founded by the eclectic John “Papa John” Schnatter, Papa John’s (NASDAQ:PZZA) is a globally recognized pizza delivery and carryout chain known for “better ingredients” and “better pizza”.

Papa John's reported revenues of $513.9 million, down 2.5% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 5.4%. It was a mixed quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' EPS estimates.

The stock is down 19.7% since the results and currently trades at $45.9.

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

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