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Q1 Rundown: Sweetgreen (NYSE:SG) Vs Other Modern Fast Food Stocks


Adam Hejl /
2024/06/05 7:05 am EDT

Looking back on modern fast food stocks' Q1 earnings, we examine this quarter's best and worst performers, including Sweetgreen (NYSE:SG) and its peers.

Modern fast food is a relatively newer category representing a middle ground between traditional fast food and sit-down restaurants. These establishments feature an expanded menu selection priced above traditional fast food options, often incorporating fresher and cleaner ingredients to serve customers prioritizing quality. These eateries are capitalizing on the perception that your drive-through burger and fries joint is detrimental to your health because of inferior ingredients.

The 6 modern fast food stocks we track reported a very strong Q1; on average, revenues beat analyst consensus estimates by 2.3%. 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 modern fast food stocks have held roughly steady amidst all this, with share prices up 3.6% on average since the previous earnings results.

Sweetgreen (NYSE:SG)

Founded in 2007 by three Georgetown University alum, Sweetgreen (NYSE:SG) is a casual quick service chain known for its healthy salads and bowls.

Sweetgreen reported revenues of $157.9 million, up 26.2% year on year, topping analysts' expectations by 3.9%. It was a solid quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' gross margin estimates and full-year revenue guidance topping analysts' expectations.

“Sweetgreen delivered strong first quarter results across the board. Year-over-year, revenue grew 26% and Restaurant-Level Profit Margin expanded by 400 basis points to 18%. We delivered positive Adjusted EBITDA during a traditionally slower first quarter. We remain confident that our strategy positions Sweetgreen for success today as well as for long-term, capital efficient, profitable growth,” said Jonathan Neman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Sweetgreen Total Revenue

Sweetgreen scored the highest full-year guidance raise of the whole group. The stock is up 32.4% since the results and currently trades at $31.2.

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

Best Q1: Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING)

The passion project of two chicken wing aficionados in Texas, Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING) is a popular fast-food chain known for its flavorful and crispy chicken wings offered in a variety of sauces and seasonings.

Wingstop reported revenues of $145.8 million, up 34.1% year on year, outperforming analysts' expectations by 7.2%. It was a stunning quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' gross margin estimates and a solid beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

Wingstop Total Revenue

Wingstop delivered the biggest analyst estimates beat and fastest revenue growth among its peers. The stock is down 1.3% since the results and currently trades at $379.72.

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

Noodles (NASDAQ:NDLS)

Offering pasta, mac and cheese, pad thai, and more, Noodles & Company (NASDAQ:NDLS) is a casual restaurant chain that serves all manner of noodles from around the world.

Noodles reported revenues of $121.4 million, down 3.7% year on year, inline with analysts' expectations. It was a strong quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' gross margin estimates and a solid beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

Noodles had the weakest full-year guidance update in the group. The stock is up 6.9% since the results and currently trades at $1.86.

Read our full analysis of Noodles's results here.

Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBPB)

With a unique origin story where the company actually started as an antique shop, Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBPB) today is a chain known for its toasty sandwiches.

Potbelly reported revenues of $111.2 million, down 6% year on year, surpassing analysts' expectations by 1.5%. It was a stunning quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

Potbelly had the slowest revenue growth among its peers. The stock is down 11.4% since the results and currently trades at $8.79.

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

Chipotle (NYSE:CMG)

Born from a desire to offer quick meals with fresh, flavorful ingredients, Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) is a fast-food chain known for its healthy, Mexican-inspired cuisine and customizable dishes.

Chipotle reported revenues of $2.70 billion, up 14.1% year on year, surpassing analysts' expectations by 1.2%. It was a very strong quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' gross margin estimates and a decent beat of analysts' earnings estimates.

The stock is up 6% since the results and currently trades at $3,102.

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

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