The investment firm said in a note emailed Monday that the analysis was conducted for a closer understanding of that recession's fundamentals and stock performance in light of a potential US recession in the present.
"We believe [Chipotle], [McDonald's] and [Papa John's] would be the best performers in a potential recession and we have installed all three as updated top picks," Analyst led by Brian Bittner said.
The three restaurant companies are its top picks because of their potential to outdo competitors in same-store sales; yield "above-average" earnings-per-share and margin performance through 2023; and their individual characteristics, Oppenheimer said.
The analysis "ranges from 2006 to 2011 to provide a broader overview of the economy and restaurant fundamentals before, during, and after the downturn," the analysts said.
Oppenheimer analysts said all companies, except Chipotle and McDonald's, posted negative US same-store sales, with Papa John's and Wendy's (WEN) relatively outperforming other fast-food chains. Restaurant sales exceeded those of other staple industries like clothing and home furnishings and grew at a rate of 1.7%, the firm said.
"If the US does enter into a recession and job loss is less extreme, we believe the headwind to restaurant demand could be low relative to other industries and lower than the 2008-2009 recession," Bittner said.
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