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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

After closing at record highs yesterday, stocks were mixed on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) managed a modest gain, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) slipped just into negative territory when all was said and done.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.39% 85.54
S&P 500 (0.10%) (2.41)

Image source: Getty Images.

That's not to say it was a quiet day for every stock on the market. With earnings season ramping up, brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) and restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD) served as an exercise in contrast as investors reacted to their respective quarterly reports.

Global growth in an enduring industry

Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev jumped 6.2% today after the company announced strong second-quarter 2017 results. Revenue climbed 5.4% year over year to $14.182 billion, including 8.9% growth from the company's three primary global brands: Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona. On the bottom line, AB InBev's normalized earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 11.8% year over year to $5.354 billion, while normalized profit attributable to shareholders climbed 8.4% to $1.872 billion. 

AB InBev also lauded continued progress in its ongoing integration of SAB Miller following their $100-billion-plus megamerger last year, achieving $335 million in additional synergies and cost savings last quarter alone. All told, AB InBev has now captured more than half of its long-term goal of reaching $2.8 billion in cost savings stemming from the combination.

"2017 has been off to a good start and we will continue to push ourselves to deliver good results throughout the balance of the year," management added in a prepared statement. "While the second half of the year looks promising, our focus remains on growing the global beer category as well as generating top-line growth in a sustainable way to position ourselves for long-term success."

Beer, sports, and (expensive) wings

Meanwhile, Buffalo Wild Wings stock plunged 11.1% after the casual-dining chain detailed its own disappointing second-quarter results. Quarterly revenue grew 2% year over year to $500 million, as revenue from new locations was offset by a worse-than-expected 1.2% same-restaurant sales decline at company-owned restaurants. On the bottom line, B-Dubs' adjusted earnings fell by more than half to $25 million, or $0.66 per diluted share. Both the top and bottom lines arrived far short of investors' expectations for revenue of $513.3 million and adjusted earnings of $1.05 per share.

The blame for its underperformance, according to Buffalo Wild Wings' management, lies with the painful combination of historically high wing prices for this time of year, a shift in mix toward its value-priced offerings, and difficult traffic trends. To be fair, regarding the latter metric, Buffalo Wild Wings was quick to point out its same-restaurant sales decline still managed to outpace the broader casual-dining industry by 200 basis points. But this was especially discouraging considering Buffalo Wild Wings' same-restaurant sales had only just turned positive in the first quarter.

That said, Buffalo Wild Wings hopes to boost profits by adapting its most popular promotional day, Half-Priced Wing Tuesdays, to feature its boneless wings rather than its currently high-cost traditional wings.

"In addition," stated CEO Sally Smith, "we continue to implement our cost savings plan to improve margins and profitability in areas we can control."

Smith, for her part, recently announced she would retire by the end of the year, or when her replacement is found -- a decision that notably came in tandem with a contentious proxy battle that saw three new nominees from activist investor Marcato Capital added to Buffalo Wild Wings' board of directors.

Buffalo Wild Wings also reduced its full-year financial guidance to call for same-restaurant sales declines of 2% to 1% (compared to growth of 1% previously), and adjusted earnings per diluted share in the range of $4.50 to $5.00 (down from $5.45 to $5.90 before). Considering this is the second time in as many quarters that Buffalo Wild Wings has had to reduce its 2017 outlook, it was no surprise to see shares endure such a steep drop today.

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Steve Symington owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Buffalo Wild Wings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.