This week is finally over.
So, time to get prepared for next week, which is far from over! Here are takes on almost everything that I will be reading up on this weekend.
Brinker International (EAT): Earnings are out on Tuesday. The company's positive traffic counts at Chili's and Maggiano's, and sales have been impressive. Somehow, in the competitive sit-down restaurant business, where rival DineEquity (DIN) is rocking, Brinker International has been able to notch out success. Kudos. But, with the S&P Restaurant Index where it is (elevated) and restaurant traffic taking a hit in the first quarter, due to inclement weather, I wouldn't be opposed to sitting out on Brinker. I think the quarter will be OK, helped by cooling cheese and avocado prices. I'm just not sure a couple cent beat here will move the needle. Risk-reward is unfavorable for EAT. Opt to play a decent quarter for the sector and uplifting comments on the earnings call (as weather has improved and gas savings still in the pocket) by Brinker execs through Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) instead. I believe the wing and beer joint had a bumper quarter due to strong March Madness interest, among other reasons.
Chipotle (CMG): Earnings are also out on Tuesday. I think earnings and sales beat, and CMG trades higher. Expectations were reset months ago due to exec comments on inflation and an unwillingness by the company to jack up prices again. This time around, I believe Chipotle will open the door to a material price increase in the spring or summer period, and say quarter-to-date demand remains quite robust. Don't expect the price increases to be across the board. They should be targeted towards menu items with beef. A beef surcharge could be implemented, instead.
Under Armour (UA): Earnings out on Tuesday. Yes, I expect Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank to really hype up Masters champ Jordan Spieth. Plank is exceptional at inspiring a room. For me, however, I am keyed in on: (1) how Under Armour plans to tap into Spieth's win. I suspect you could see a Michael Jordan-like lifestyle brand launched around him; and (2) sales of footwear, notably the new Curry One (they were strong, trust me), in light of Nike's (NKE) sales weakness in selection running sneaker lines.
McDonald's (MCD): Earnings are out on Wednesday. I have reason to believe the quarter will be not just ugly, but very ugly. Specific areas of concern include the U.S. and Japan. The company, based on my sources, continues to move super slow in rolling out new products. Furthermore, its rollout of the new make-your-own burger platform is going along at a snail's pace. Franchisee discontentment with corporate is high, and I don't have confidence in new CEO Steve Easterbrook winning over performance- oriented Wall Street on his first earnings call. I do think Easterbrook is the right guy for the job. I have been told he is pushing for speedier operational improvements. It's just going to take time for changes to bear fruit, perhaps evident in 2016.
Tupperware (TUP): Earnings are out on Wednesday. I love everything the company represents, empowering women across the globe to be entrepreneurs. Long-time CEO Rick Goings is strong. But, the stock hasn't done much since popping in response to the last earnings report on Jan. 29. I think the quarter was significantly impacted by currency volatility and slowing emerging market growth, which puts at risk the top end of Tupperware's earnings guidance for the full year.