Why are casual dining stocks rallying in the face of rising energy and food prices?
Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets upgraded Brinker stock from "underweight" to "hold." (Brinker is the parent of Chili’s and other casual dining chains.) In a research note published Wednesday morning, they cited sales, which they say have stabilized and are likely to improve over the forthcoming six-to-twelve months.
CEC Entertainment said first-quarter earnings rose 3 percent and it expects continued strong sales at its Chuck E. Cheese's chain of restaurants
Meanwhile PF Chang’s shares closed higher after the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based restaurant operator increased its 2008 earnings guidance.