Sunnier weather helped herd more people into pubs last month, though the restaurant sector saw sales continue to wilt.
Greene King will be the leisure sector's biggest winner if England do well in the FIFA World Cup while Restaurant Group and Mitchells and Butlers are likely to fare worst, according to Berenberg analysts.
Alliance Pharma: Numis downgrades to add with a target price of 99p.
Thomas Cook: Numis downgrades to add with a target price of 159p.
Marston's reported strong revenues throughout the first six months of the trading year, however, the pubs group swung to a statutory loss as a result of write-downs on its income statement.
It might seem counter-intuitive on the same day that more dismal official retail figures and disastrous numbers from Debenhams coincided, but plenty of contrarian thinkers have already started looking to the retail sector for investment opportunities.
There was mixed news for retailers, pubs and restaurants on Tuesday as encouraging high street research was published by the British Retail Consortium but spending data from Barclaycard painted a more gloomy picture.
Bottles and cans of alcohol sold in the UK should be covered with graphic cigarette-style health warnings to highlight the risks of exceeding the recommended limit, the Royal Society for Public Health has demanded.
Croda International plc: Berenberg upgrades to buy with a target price of 5,000p.
Marston's said on Tuesday that it took a hit from the snowy and icy weather in early December and between Christmas and New Year, although its pubs saw record sales on Christmas day.
The rise of casual dining has made up for pub closures to keep the number of drinking venues steady despite tough market conditions.
Greene King: JPMorgan downgrades to Underweight with a target price of 500p.
Marston's said business was growing as expected this year after the pub operator and brewer increased annual profits in what it described as challenging conditions.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Monday that as part of his new 'London Plan' he would undertake extensive measures aimed at halting the "shocking" number of pubs closing their doors in the capital.
Pubs, bars and restaurants last month endured their biggest sales fall in a year, with London restaurants hardest hit in an industry facing a squeezed consumer and rising costs.
Brewer and pub operator Marston's saw sales growth slow and margins squeezed in the final 10 weeks of the year along with the rest of the industry but said it had identified £5m of cost savings to help boost profit margins.
Analysts at Berenberg provided a mixed review of the UK pubs sector on Wednesday, as it upgraded JD Wetherspoon to 'hold' from 'sell'.
Tullow Oil: Jefferies downgrades to Underperform with a target price of 155p.
Pub companies and analysts were gulping after a warning from brewer Greene King about falling sales, rising competition and costs, all set against a worrying backdrop of tightening consumer belts.
UK pubs face twin risks from consumer spending and rising costs, leading HSBC to take a more negative stance on the sector and downgrade Greene King and JD Wetherspoons.