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Church’s Texas Chicken 2024

Church’s Texas Chicken is a 70-year-old brand that enjoys strong brand equity built around its hallmark hand-breaded, fried chicken made in small batches throughout the day and scratch-made Honey-Butter Biscuits. Church’s new management team is executing around a well-conceived strategic plan that shows signs of driving a rebound – that is, so long as the economy cooperates.

Churchs Building

Wendy’s 4Q23: U.S. Comps +0.9%, U.S. Company Store Margin -1.6%

Wendy’s reported that while the consumer is under pressure (resulting in a soft 4Q23 for the industry), prospects are looking up. The brand’s barbell menu strategy is working well to address the traffic decline for low-income consumers (under $75k) with its Biggie Bag value platform while ensuring higher-income consumers are well served with premium Made to Crave offerings.

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The Correlation Between U.S. Money Printing & Wealth Creation

Are the super-rich creating wealth or are they simply riding the wave of money creation? The following chart reveals an incredibly tight correlation between money supply and the net worth held by the top 0.1% richest…  

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A Primer on Banking, Past to Present

From its start with the European financial families, banking has been around for a long time. Sometimes it’s good to review the origin of a thing to better understand where we are today…

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RR Report Announcement: 2H23 Finance & Valuations

RR’s Finance & Valuation report provides an overview of the current restaurant finance environment including origination volumes and lending terms as well as private franchisee and public company valuations.

Restaurant Originations 2023

Amazon 4Q23 Sales +14%, Operating Income +482% Y/Y

As if Amazon’s quarter wasn’t sufficiently outstanding, the company is planning on expanding into medical services where it believes it can easily outperform an outdated healthcare system which requires consumers to schedule appointments far out in advance, drive 20 minutes to an appointment before waiting 15 minutes in an exam room to receive a prescription, & then driving even further to a pharmacy to pick up their prescription.

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4Q Restaurant Comps Reflect Outsized Menu Price Premium Compared to Grocery Stores

It has become increasingly expensive to eat out relative to the price of shopping at grocery stores & eating at home. This helps explain slowing 4Q restaurant comps.

Food at Home CPI vs Food Away from Home CPI

2024 Survey of Professional Forecasters

The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy looks better now than it did 3 months ago, according to 34 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The forecasters predict the economy will expand at an annual rate of 2.1% this quarter, up from the prediction of 0.8% percent in the last survey.

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Insights from U.S. Treasury’s General Account

In our previous post, we highlighted one of Key Square’s investment premises that Yellen’s Treasury Department may have an incentive to increase government spending to help propel the economy & markets during an election year. To this end, Key Square advised checking on the Fed’s spending levels by monitoring the U.S. Treasury’s General Account which doubles as its checking account. In this post, we look at the relationship between stocks & this account.

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Suprising Insights from Key Square Investment Team

Let’s start with the fact that Scott Bessent, founder of Key Square Investment Group, had previously worked as the Chief Investment Officer for Soros Fund Management before receiving $2B in seed money from George Soros in 2015 to start his new firm. This is why it is so shocking that he recently wrote that equity markets are in the middle of a “Trump Rally” that will last if he remains ahead of Biden in the polls. This contrarian view is worth a look.

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