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Restaurant Brands International Inc

QSR: XTSE (CAN)
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Morningstar Rating for Stocks Fair Value Economic Moat Capital Allocation
CAD 464.00XqhyndnLnxdzgqn

Biggest Restaurant Brands Set To Gain Market Share as Industry Navigates Tough Environment

As we gear up for the release of first-quarter earnings, our top picks in the restaurant industry remain wide-moat McDonald's and wide-moat Starbucks, trading at 14% and 19% discounts to our $312 and $105 fair value estimates, respectively. While industry traffic has been depressed for two years, both brands boast strong digital platforms that allow them to defend transaction frequency without indiscriminate national discounting, and both benefit from scale-driven cost advantages that should allow them to meet the needs of the increasingly value-sensitive consumer without sacrificing financial performance. These are the two most important factors, in our view, that will distinguish the best and worst performers in our industry coverage over the coming years. The industry looks fairly priced in aggregate, trading at a 3% premium to our market-cap weighted fair value estimates. The aggregate figure masks a very bimodal return distribution: Brands like narrow-moat Wingstop (up 108% annually) and wide-moat Chipotle (74%)—which boast strong unit economics and have taken material industry transaction share—have materially outperformed brands like no-moat Wendy's (down 9%) and narrow-moat Papa John's (down 17%), which have not. Those top-performing brands are fully priced, trading at material premiums to our intrinsic valuation (163% and 52%, respectively), suggestive of meaningful execution risk.

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