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Restaurant Brands International Inc

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Morningstar Rating for Stocks Fair Value Economic Moat Capital Allocation
CAD 794.00CdclqmZvnwvwhky

Taking the Restaurant Industry's Pulse: Opportunities Arise as Slowing Sales Drive Correction

The restaurant industry looks cheap to us for the first time since fall 2022, with the recent market correction creating a buying opportunity for long-term investors. Our coverage trades at a 7% cap-weighted discount to our intrinsic valuations, with wide-moat companies like Yum Brands, Starbucks, and McDonald's looking unusually alluring, each trading at a 10%-12% discount to our respective $139, $103, and $285 fair value estimates. We recognize that slowing same-store sales pose a near-term risk, but believe that large, quick-service operators with scale-driven cost advantages and strong digital touchpoints look poised to capture market share in this dynamic environment. Restaurants are more resilient than many investors realize, with companies that outperform on the basis of "value for the money" like McDonald's and wide-moat Chipotle even posting comparable-store sales growth over the course of the 2007-09 downturn. While we expect consumer spending to slow in 2024, we continue to maintain that the U.S. will avoid an outright recession and believe that investors seeking consumer cyclical exposure would do well to consider turning toward the restaurant industry at current prices.

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