Profits at Buffalo Wild Wings Jump 66 Percent in Third Quarter

Andrew Klips  |

Restaurant operator Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (BWLD) is flying to all-time highs in extended hours to continue a run during regular trading on Tuesday after topping Wall Street expectations for the third quarter and saying it will continue strong growth for all of 2014.

For the quarter ended September 29, the Minneapolis-based company reported at 27.9-percent surge in revenue to $315.8 million, compared to $246.86 million in the year prior quarter.  Net revenue leapt to $17.9 million, or 95 cents per share, from only $10.7 million, or 57 cents per share, in the third quarter last year.

Analysts were expecting profits of 85 cents per share on revenue of $311.5 million.

Same-store sales, which measure growth at stores open more than one year, improved 4.8 percent at company-owned restaurants and 3.9 percent at franchised locations.  The company added that same-store sales are up about 5.3 percent at company locations and 3.0 percent and franchisee’s stores during the first four weeks of the fourth quarter.

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The rise in revenue was driven by the company opening 72 new restaurants in the last 12 months.  Sales at corporate locations grew 29.5 percent to $295.7 million.  That equates to an average of $55,592 per week in sales at each company-owned store, compared to $52,561 per week in last year’s quarter.  "B-Dubs," as Buffalo Wild Wings is often called, plans to open 22 more corporate restaurants and 22 franchised locations in the fourth quarter.  There are currently 959 Buffalo Wind Wings restaurants spanning 49 states and Canada.

“With the strength of our net earnings growth in the first nine months of the year, positive momentum in same-store sales, and improved cost of sales percentage versus last year, we believe we will achieve 20% net earnings growth for 2013, equating to 28% on a 52-week basis," said Sally Smith, president and chief executive at Buffalo Wild Wings, in a statement after Tuesday’s closing bell.

Smith added at the company will hit a milestone of 1,000 restaurants in the first quarter of 2014 as part of a larger goal to reach 1,700 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. For the full year, B-Dubs plans to open 45 company stores and 40 franchised stores in the U.S. and Canada.  Another 10 new locations are expected across the world from international franchisees.

Another 20-percent growth in net earnings is forecast for 2014.

The company is coming up on its 10-year anniversary as a public entity.  With 228 restaurants at the time, the company IPO’d in November 2003, raising $51 million, $8 million more than it originally planned on raising.  Dipping as low as $10.30 per share in December, shares have been steadily trekking upwards ever since, including closing Tuesday’s regular session at $129.51 for gains of 2.5-percent on the day.  For those counting, that’s a gain of 1,157 percent from lows.  In extended trading, shares have printed as high as $143.52.

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