Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS ) were looking overcooked today, falling as much as 11%, after investors didn't like the taste of its guidance last night.
So what: Reporting earnings for the first time as a publicly traded company, Noodles topped earnings estimates, posting $0.13 a share against the consensus $0.12, while revenues improved 18.2% to $89.2 million, beating expectations of $88.1 million. Same-store sales, meanwhile, were up 4.4% in the quarter, indicating moderate organic growth. What sent shares downward seemed to be underwhelming full-year guidance as management projected 2013 EPS of $0.39 to $0.41. While that's slightly ahead of the analyst estimate at $0.39, the market was clearly looking for a bump up in the wake of the company's shares more than doubling since their June IPO.
Now what: This was a perfectly reasonable earnings report. The problem, however, is with the valuation, not the company. From an IPO price of just $18, Noodles shares skyrocketed, seemingly on ambitious expansion plans and hopes it would be the next Chipotle. With its 2013 P/E sitting around 100, and only a moderate sales growth rate of 16% expected next year, I'd say shares are destined for a pullback. I'd wait for a better entry point before grabbing a piece of Noodles.
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