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Cheesecake Factory's desserts are delicious - its alternative data, may not be

2 months ago by Jon Marino in Facts, Trends

Cheesecake Factory ($NASDAQ:CAKE) makes some sweet desserts - as the name very much implies. And it's generated some sweet returns for investors over more than 20 years, as it blossomed into a nationwide chain of waist-expanding restaurants. 

But more recently, the sweetness has faded. Next, it could be time for some belt-tightening at the company. Cheesecake Factory shares have lost about 25% of their value over the last 12 months and analysts are expecting EPS of $0.81 when it reports earnings Wednesday July 31. 

For starters, Cheesecake Factory's Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) Talking About Count has been falling - the chart reflects far less engagement for the brand, on the social network, compared to just a few years ago. Perhaps it's America's trending increasingly toward delivery, or, perhaps it's the rise of healthy foods like kale and quinoa in take-out stores. But, either way - for a company that makes very photogenic cheesecake, again - it's not a good sign. 

Cheesecake Factory appears to not have grown store count in the second quarter, as our the chart above reflects. 

And, finally - web traffic. Again, Cheesecake Factory appears to be seeing searches for the site (or, at least, visits to it) leveling off, after steep declines between 2016 and 2018. If the California-based restaurant operator is to turn its fortunes around, and reclaim the rally its shares were once on, it will need to reverse the trajectory of at least some of these charts. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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