Cheesecake Factory Rises as Analyst Says Sales May Accelerate

Cheesecake Factory Inc. rose the most in almost two months after an analyst said the restaurant chain’s management sees sales improving in the current quarter.

The shares climbed as much as 3.7 percent to $51.19 in New York, the biggest intraday gain since July 28. The shares already had advanced 7.1 percent this year through Tuesday.

Cheesecake Factory, with about 200 locations, expects third-quarter comparable-store sales to improve from the prior quarter’s gain of 0.3 percent, William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia said in a research note on Wednesday. She cited investor meetings with executives including Chief Executive Officer David Overton, who reiterated the company’s full-year same-store sales and profit forecasts too.

Other U.S. eateries have been struggling to attract diners, who are increasingly eating at home to save money. In July, Stifel Financial Corp. warned of the start of a U.S. restaurant recession and downgraded 11 companies, including Cheesecake Factory, Darden Restaurants Inc. and Zoe’s Kitchen Inc.

But Cheesecake Factory may be bucking the trend with its hearty portions and seasonal desserts, such as pumpkin-pecan cheesecake. The dessert was brought back early this year, on Sept. 1 instead of in October, in a bid to boost sales. The Calabasas Hills, California-based company also is benefiting from lower costs for ingredients such as seafood and poultry.

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