Leading sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) saw its shares hammered in after hours trading after missing third quarter revenue and earnings per share estimates. The restaurant chain saw shares drop over 11% in after hours to hit $74. The new price is around where shares were in July when I last recommended them.
Buffalo Wild Wings reported revenue of $246.9 million, an increase of 24.8% from the prior year. Analysts on Yahoo Finance were expecting revenue of $253.93 million. The company reported a 26.2% in revenue from its company owned locations, and a 10.2% increase in revenue from franchise royalty fees. The company's net earnings dropped 5% to $10.7 million. Earnings per share for the third quarter came in at $0.57, a decrease of 6.6% from last year's third quarter. Analysts were projecting the chain would earn $0.61 per share. Lower earnings came as a result of pre-opening expenses.
Same store sales increased 6.2% at company owned locations, and 5.9% at franchised locations. Company owned locations saw an increase in average weekly sales to $52,561, an increase of 6.3% from last year. Franchised locations saw an increase of 8.3% in average weekly sales to $55,608. Buffalo Wild Wings also provided an update on their fourth quarter. Same store sales are up 3.8% at company owned locations, and 5.6% at franchised locations in the first four weeks of the fourth quarter.
Buffalo Wild Wings will open twenty four company owned locations, and twenty franchised locations by the end of the year. The company ended the third quarter with 861 locations in forty eight states and Canada. Plans for fiscal 2013 call for 60 company owned, and forty five franchised locations to be opened. The company is expecting to hit the 1,000 restaurant mark by the end of fiscal 2013. After previously stating the company could sustain 1,500 locations in North America, Buffalo Wild Wings hinted at an improved number today during the earnings call. Buffalo Wild Wings now believes it can have 1,700 locations in North America, and will see additional growth abroad.
The company is also planning on expanded its company to include an additional brand. Plans call for the company to acquire an existing company or create a new separate brand from the Buffalo Wild Wings concept. I took a look at some acquisition targets in a previous article, but ultimately think Buffalo Wild Wings may try its hand at its own burger, or pizza concept to diversify away from its wing concept.
I remain bullish on shares of Buffalo Wild Wings for the last two mentioned reasons. The company is still in rapid expansion mode. The company can still almost double its current restaurant count in North America before it reaches saturation. The fact that Buffalo Wild Wings increased its targeted range bodes well for the company's current sales at existing stores, and also positive results from stores opened in Canada. An expansion into another brand could accelerate shares higher. The company is debt free, and is using cash to fund unit growth. Rather than paying a dividend, Buffalo Wild Wings will use its cash to continue expansion of its own concept and also to increase the presence of a new concept.
Shares look expensive on a purely price to earnings ratio. Analysts expect the company to post earnings per share of $3.19 for fiscal 2012. That number is expected to rise to $3.80 in the following fiscal year. However, with increased units, international growth, and new restaurant concepts, shareholders could see a buy-in at today's fallen price very rewarding going forward.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.