BJ's Restaurants (BJRI) shares plummet 16.5% AH after the company announces preliminary FQ4 results that missed expectations by a mile.
Revenue for the quarter is seen at $199.8M (+8% Y/Y), below analyst expectations of $204.5M, on a comps decrease of 2.7% (2.3% drop in traffic and 0.4% reduction in average check due to higher promotional activity).
EPS is seen at $0.05-$0.07, vs. consensus of $0.16.
CEO Greg Trojan cited a "significant softening in comparable restaurant sales beginning in the middle of November [...] The softer than expected sales [...] coupled with increased marketing spend to drive guest traffic impacted our operating margins."
BJ's increased operating weeks by ~12% during 2013, and aims for another 12% increase in 2014 on the back of 15 new openings.
Grocery store and restaurants stocks are rallying in force as the two sectors see some rare momentum.
A couple of factors could be coming into play with jobless claims lower and some key wholesale food costs moderating. A slightly more positive read on food/restaurant spending from key companies is also in the mix.
BJ's Restaurants (BJRI +1.2%) sees adding 17 locations this year with the eastern half of the U.S. a target. Another significant development with the company is its expanded menu which includes hand-crafted beer - even brewed on-site at three of its restaurants.