Why Ignite Restaurant Shares Dropped

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 Ignite Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: IRG  ) were self-destructing today, finishing down 16% after its third-quarter earnings came in off the mark.

So what: The parent company of Joe's Crab Shack and other restaurant chains posted an adjusted loss of $0.04 per share, below expectations of a $0.21 profit, and its revenue of $227.6 million missed estimates as well. Same-store sales grew 3.3% at Joe's Crab Shack and 4% at Brick House Tavern, but fell 2.7% at the recently acquired Macaroni Grill. CEO Ray Blanchette said he was "pleased with top-line momentum at the two legacy brands," and said that Ignite had made "tangible progress" in turning around Macaroni Grill.

Now what: Ignite has missed analyst estimates in each of the last four quarters as analysts seem to have underestimated the challenge of integrating the new acquisition. A year ago, before the acquisition, Ignite delivered EPS of $0.35 in the usually strong summer quarter. Shares of the restaurant group have now fallen 40% from their peak this summer, and it's hard to see them bouncing back without considerable progress on Macaroni Grill. Factor in the general headwinds in the casual dining segment and this seems like an easy pass.

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