Maggie McGrath, 26 April 2018
The tale of two restaurant ownership models — wholly-owned and franchised — is translating into similarly divergent market performances for certain restaurant stocks Thursday. And much of the movement has to do with the comments of one short-seller.
Shares of Dunkin’ Brands and Restaurant Brands International (QSR), which is Burger King’s parent company, are in negative territory after Jim Chanos, the investor who famously shorted Enron, told CNBC Thursday morning that he’s taken short positions in both names. His reason: he is not optimistic about the future of asset-light, franchise-focused businesses. “[E]verybody wants to sell the restaurants and not own them but basically clip the coupon of collecting royalties,” he said. “And we’ve had this dichotomy now of restaurant stock multiples going higher and higher and higher as restaurants themselves have struggled. I think at some point that has to come to an end.”