This IPO Keeps Getting Spicier

The market's having a fiesta with Chuy's Holdings (Nasdaq: CHUY  ) .

Shares of the fast-growing chain of Tex-Mex casual-dining restaurants popped 15% higher last week after it posted better-than-expected quarterly results -- sending Chuy's to fresh highs.

Restaurant stocks have been surprisingly popular IPOs this summer, but they haven't necessarily been barn burners. Bloomin' Brands (Nasdaq: BLMN  ) -- the company behind the Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill chains -- is trading 18% above last month's IPO at $11, but the company originally wanted to go public between $13 and $15 . High-end chophouse operator Del Frisco's (Nasdaq: DFRG  ) is trading 14% higher, but it's the same deal. It had to lower the number of shares and the price of those shares before completing its IPO.

Chuy's is the rock star, for now. The stock has soared 58% since selling 6.7 million shares at $13 in late July.

Last week's second-quarter report was solid. Revenue soared 32% to $43.5 million, fueled primarily by the 37-unit chain's brisk expansion. Pro forma net income rose 40% to $0.17 a share. Analysts were only expecting a profit of $0.16 a share on $43.1 million.

There isn't exactly a consensus of opinion around Fooldom when it comes to Chuy's. I was excited about its prospects after visiting its first Florida location last month, learning the things that set it apart from the countless other Tex-Mex and Mexican chains out there.  Fellow Fool John Maxfield wasn't impressed at all. He worries about the moat, debt, and brief corporate history.

The one thing that we can probably agree on is that Chuy's isn't exactly cheap. The 58% pop leaves us with a company valued at 37 to 38 times its projected profitability for this year. Even KeyBanc -- one of the underwriters that took Chuy's public this summer -- initiated coverage two weeks ago with a neutral "hold" rating.

Chuy's is no Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG  ) . The chain's top-line growth is almost entirely the handiwork of opening up new eateries. Comps only increased at a 1.9% clip during the quarter. Chipotle's revenue may have grown by just 21% during the same period, but that was powered by an 8% surge in same-unit sales growth.

However, there's also a big difference between the 1,316 Chipotle locations and the mere 37 Chuy's restaurants. Chuy's is considerably earlier in its life cycle, though obviously it has a long way to go to show that it has the kind of legs and cult status that Chipotle has achieved with its burrito-rolling prowess.

I'm still going to keep an eye on Chuy's. I would love to see the valuation become more attractive, but it's hard to bet against a company that delivers strong quarterly results in its first outing as a public company.

Shiny and new
If you're into new things, there's a new report detailing three stocks to own to profit from a new industrial revolution. Did I mention that it was a free report? Check it out now.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 05, 2012, at 10:24 AM, nedliug wrote:

    When is the last time you went to a rio bravo, Tia's, or Ninfa's? What makes Chuy's different?

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2005038, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/22/2014 11:40:00 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement