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Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) Lags Q1 Earnings, Trims View

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. BWLD missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and revenues in the first quarter of 2016.

Highlights

Adjusted earnings of $1.73 per share in the first quarter showed an improvement of 13.5% year over year, thanks to better food/labor cost leverage and lower share count due to higher buybacks. However, earnings fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.76 by 1.70%, reflecting lower-than-expected comps in the quarter.

 

Total revenue increased approximately 15.4% year over year to $508.3 million driven by a year-over-year improvement in unit development and franchise acquisitions made over the past fiscal year. However, revenues missed the consensus mark of $532 million by approximately 4.5%.

Behind the Headlines

During the quarter, company-owned restaurant sales amounted to $483.9 million, up 16.6% year over year, driven by the opening of 100 additional Buffalo Wild Wings outlets.

Company-owned comps declined 1.7%, comparing unfavorably with the prior-quarter comps growth of 1.9% as well as year-ago comps growth of 7.0%. Calendar shifts (a shift in Easter timings) hurt comps by 50 basis points (bps) in the first quarter.

Franchise royalties and fees decreased 5% year over year to $24.3 million due to a reduction in franchised units by seven in the quarter compared to last year. Comps decreased 2.4% that compared unfavorably with prior-quarter comps decrease of 0.1% as well as the year-ago quarter comps growth of 6.0%.

Buffalo Wild Wings' cost of sales, as a percentage of revenues, decreased 60 bps to 29.7% due to a 3% year-over-year decrease in chicken wing costs. The company’s cost of labor, as a percentage of revenues, decreased 60 bps to 30.8%.

Restaurant operating expenses, as a percentage of restaurant sales, were 14.4%, up 30 bps from the prior-year quarter on a rise in repair and maintenance costs.

During the quarter, the company opened six new company-owned restaurants and one R Taco outlet.

2016 View Slashed

The company lowered its fiscal 2016 earnings outlook and now expects earnings per share in the range of $5.65 to $5.85 compared to the previous range of $5.95–$6.20 expecting higher deflation ary food cost and modest traffic in the upcoming quarters. The guidance compares unfavorably with earnings of $6.10 reported a year ago. The earnings guidance, also, fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.10 per share as well as general market expectations.

During fiscal 2016, the company expects to open approximately 40 company-owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, 30 to 35 franchised Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the U.S., 12 to 15 franchised Buffalo Wild Wing locations internationally, 6 company-owned and 4 franchised R Taco restaurants. The company also intends to expand the PizzaRev brand of restaurants in the year.

The company expects to incur capital expenditure of approximately $190 million during the year.

Buffalo Wild Wings also expects comps to rise in fiscal 2016 while traffic is likely to be modestly positive. The company anticipates deflationary food cost in 2016, excluding traditional chicken wings. Meanwhile, traditional chicken wings costs are expected to be relatively flat compared to 2015 levels.

The company presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. TAST, Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. PLAY and Darden Restaurant DRI. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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