First Watch Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:FWRG) and El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO) Head to Head Comparison

First Watch Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:FWRGGet Rating) and El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCOGet Rating) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and risk.

Profitability

This table compares First Watch Restaurant Group and El Pollo Loco’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First Watch Restaurant Group N/A N/A N/A
El Pollo Loco 5.97% 9.62% 4.85%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.4% of First Watch Restaurant Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.8% of El Pollo Loco shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.1% of First Watch Restaurant Group shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 47.9% of El Pollo Loco shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for First Watch Restaurant Group and El Pollo Loco, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First Watch Restaurant Group 0 1 9 0 2.90
El Pollo Loco 0 1 1 0 2.50

First Watch Restaurant Group presently has a consensus price target of $22.50, suggesting a potential upside of 54.22%. El Pollo Loco has a consensus price target of $20.50, suggesting a potential upside of 100.00%. Given El Pollo Loco’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe El Pollo Loco is more favorable than First Watch Restaurant Group.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares First Watch Restaurant Group and El Pollo Loco’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
First Watch Restaurant Group $601.19 million 1.43 -$2.11 million N/A N/A
El Pollo Loco $454.36 million 0.83 $29.12 million $0.75 13.67

El Pollo Loco has lower revenue, but higher earnings than First Watch Restaurant Group.

Summary

El Pollo Loco beats First Watch Restaurant Group on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About First Watch Restaurant Group (Get Rating)

First Watch Restaurant Group, Inc. operates and franchises restaurants under the First Watch trade name. As of March 23, 2022, it operated 341 company-owned restaurants and 94 franchised restaurants in 28 states in the United States. The company was formerly known as AI Fresh Super Holdco, Inc. and changed its name to First Watch Restaurant Group, Inc. in December 2019. First Watch Restaurant Group, Inc. was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Bradenton, Florida.

About El Pollo Loco (Get Rating)

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, El Pollo Loco, Inc., develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name. As of December 29, 2021, the company operated 480 restaurants comprising 189 company-operated and 291 franchised restaurants located in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Louisiana. It also licenses one restaurant in the Philippines. The company was formerly known as Chicken Acquisition Corp. and changed its name to El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. in April 2014. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California.

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