Nicole Miller Regan Sees Some Trouble Ahead for Former High Flyers in the Restaurant Sector

April 3, 2018

Nicole Miller Regan is a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., where she covers the restaurants and branded hospitality universe. Prior to joining Piper Jaffray in 2006, Ms. Miller Regan worked in equity research at ThinkEquity Partners in Minneapolis and at Sterne, Agee & Leach in New Orleans. Ms. Miller Regan was the winner of ICR’s 2012 best restaurant stock pick, and in 2006, she was ranked number-one stock picker by StarMine.  In her exclusive interview with the Wall Street Transcript, Ms. Miller Regan details her current investing thesis for restaurant stocks.

“…What is your culture and food, and how you are embracing technology but not leaning on it? Then, what is your experience and interaction with the customer? It is kind of like, who has the best satisfaction scores? Those companies are winning. Somebody might say, “Oh, well, full-service casual dining is dead.” No, it is not. Darden (NYSE:DRI) is one of the best-performing stocks.”

“Darden trades anywhere from 1, 2, 3 times turn of EBITDA premium to Brinker (NYSE:EAT). Darden’s comps are positive, and Brinker’s comps are negative. Darden has a little bit more growth and wide space ahead of them than does Brinker with Chili’s. So this will be a case where we are going to actually pay out. There are going to be higher multiples, and it has worked because that stock did very well, and Brinker has just been a little bit left behind. We pick performers like a Darden.”

To get all of Nicole Miller Regan’s picks and pans in the restaurant sector, read the entire interview in the Wall Street Transcript.