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While third quarter earnings at Burger King Holdings Inc. (BKC) were roughly in line with analyst expectations, higher same-store sales in Canada and the U.S., as well as management’s upbeat tone when discussing new products, could lead to continued sales momentum, Goldman Sachs analyst Steven Kron said in a note to clients.

Burger King, which recently added a breakfast value menu and will roll out a late-night initiative that will see its restaurants open until at least midnight seven days a week, continues to battle McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD), the leader in the hamburger chain game.

Burger King management hiked its gross target for restaurant openings this year 2007 from 430 to between 470 and 490 (300 to date). This signals the company’s ability to attract franchisees and growth, particularly for its international business, Mr. Kron said, who added that unit growth on a net basis is expected to be lower than initiated estimated.

He hiked price target on Burger King by US$2 to US$25 and has a “hold” recommendation on the stock.

While the burger chain promises customers: “Have it your way,” investors definitely have. The stock has gained more than US$10 since August 2006.

BKC 1-yr chart:

BKC 1-yr chart

Source: Goldman Ups Target On Burger King After Earnings