Reasons to Hold onto Restaurant Brands Stock

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) stands to gain from robust comparable sales growth, strong performance of Tim Hortons, and ongoing digitalization initiatives. Additionally, the company’s focus on expanding its footprint is promising. Nevertheless, concerns persist regarding elevated costs and a weakening consumer landscape.

Factors Driving Positive Momentum

Restaurant Brands continues to impress with solid comparable sales growth. In the fourth quarter of 2023, the company witnessed consolidated comparable sales rise by 9.6%, down from 11.4% in the previous year. Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes reported comparable sales growth of 8.4%, 6.3%, and 5.5%, respectively, compared to 10.1%, 5.5%, and 1.7% in the prior year quarter. This growth was largely fueled by enhancements in core offerings and operational improvements.

Tim Hortons’ evening food sales saw a significant uptick of 7% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, driven by PM-led snacking initiatives such as savory twists, dream cookies, loaded bowls, and wraps. These initiatives also contributed to Tim Hortons’ increased market share in the PM food segment. Moreover, the company aims to elevate the quality of its offerings and diversify into high-growth food and beverage segments to fuel further expansion.

The company’s emphasis on digitalization has been fruitful, with digital sales surging over 40% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by robust contributions from kiosks and delivery channels. Tim Hortons witnessed a consistent digital sales mix of around 30% with 5 million average monthly users, reflecting the success of its digitalization efforts. Expansion into international markets further enhances growth prospects, with the company securing multiple development and master franchise agreements in 2023.

Expansion initiatives extended to more than 75 markets outside of the United States and Canada, with Tim Hortons making its debut in Singapore and South Korea, Firehouse in Mexico and the UAE, and Popeyes and Burger King in Bosnia. These efforts contributed significantly to net restaurant growth, accounting for over 45% in 2023. Noteworthy growth drivers included Burger King’s expansion in China and India, as well as collaborations at Tim Hortons and Popeyes.

Concerns Looming

Despite its positive performance, Restaurant Brands faces challenges, notably in managing rising costs. Total costs of sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 increased by 3.9% year over year, primarily due to upticks in supply chain and consumer packaged goods sales, along with commodity price hikes. Additionally, the company remains wary of foreign exchange volatility, increasing interest rates, and a softening consumer environment, exacerbated by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Looking Forward

Despite these challenges, Restaurant Brands International remains optimistic about its growth prospects and is dedicated to expanding its restaurant base towards its long-term goal of reaching 40,000 locations. With shares outperforming the industry in the past six months, maintaining a strategic position in Restaurant Brands stock could prove beneficial for investors.

Featured Image: Freepik

Please See Disclaimer