) to strong buy from buy.
Analyst Anton Brenner says the 20 cents first-quarter EPS is well above his 6 cents estimate. He says in addition to a previously reported same-store sales increase for Carl's and Hardee's, transaction counts for both concepts were up as well for the first time in more than one year. He says Hardee's continues to have significant potential operating leverage.
Brenner raised the 42 cents fiscal 2005 (Jan) EPS estimate to 65 cents, and upped the 70 cents fiscal 2006 estimate to 80 cents. He says impressive first-quarter results validates his belief that CKE has earnings potential of $1.00 or more over the next two years. He raised the $13 target to $20.