BJ's Restaurants Earnings Preview

Investors hope BJ's Restaurants (Nasdaq: BJRI  ) will top analyst estimates once again after beating predictions by $0.02 in the previous quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings Thursday. BJ's Restaurants owns and operates a chain of eateries.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on BJ's Restaurants with 11 of 17 analysts rating it hold. Analysts don't like BJ's Restaurants as much as competitor Buffalo Wild Wings overall. Ten out of 17 analysts rate Buffalo Wild Wings a buy compared with six of 17 for BJ's Restaurants. Analysts still rate the stock a hold, but they are a bit more wary about it compared with three months ago.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $149.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 16.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.24 per share. Estimates range from $0.22 to $0.26.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 81.3% awarding it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 76.5% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about BJ's Restaurants, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 84 posts in the past 30 days. BJ's Restaurants' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management:
BJ's Restaurants' profit has risen year over year by an average of more than twofold over the past five quarters. The company's gross margin shrank by 20.5 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 17.2% while cost of sales rose 57.9% to $121.2 million from a year earlier.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

20.7%

20.3%

41.0%

41.3%

Operating Margin

6.9%

7.0%

6.4%

5.8%

Net Margin

5.3%

5.0%

5.2%

4.3%

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