THE OPINIONS: The Minneapolis-based company's earnings growth also will be helped by an increase in its company owned restaurant base and sales growth from established restaurants, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Christopher O'Cull said in a Thursday note to investors. O'Cull raised his 12-month price target on the shares to $95 from $85.
Wedbush analyst Nick Setyan said in a separate note that he raised his price target to $95 from $88. He noted that the per-pound cost of chicken wings has dropped since peaking in late January. But he also said the chain faces a slight challenge because this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament has fewer high seeds from markets with a heavy restaurant concentration than last year's tournament.
THE STOCK: Up 33 cents to $85.30 in afternoon trading, while the broader market fell slightly. The stock has traded between $68.71 and $94.81 over the last 52 weeks and climbed about 17 percent so far this year.