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Shake Shack Provides a Business Update as Sales Plunge 70%

By Asit Sharma – Apr 2, 2020 at 5:52PM

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The burger-and-shake chain regroups as coronavirus significantly buffets its operations.

Roadside burger chain Shake Shack (SHAK -3.52%) updated investors on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business on Thursday, while also providing details on its immediate financial condition.

The company noted that nine of its company-operated units are completely closed (out of 280 stores), while the rest are "relying solely on to-go and delivery orders." Excluding the temporarily shuttered units, domestic restaurants are seeing sales declines of 50% to 90% and are averaging a 70% drop in business against the same period last year. Shake Shack reported that its international licensed stores are also experiencing dramatic sales erosion. 

An artisan hamburger and steak fries on a wooden table.

Image source: Getty Images.

For now, liquidity doesn't appear to be an issue. Management drew down the company's $50 million revolving credit facility last week. As of April 1, Shake Shack had $104 million in available cash and marketable securities, which it believes will "[provide] adequate liquidity for the foreseeable future."

The company noted that it has furloughed or laid off 20% of its corporate employees while reducing corporate salaries and instituting a companywide hiring freeze. It's even deferred cash-compensation payments to its board of directors.

The organization has also undertaken "significant reductions" in store staffing and store-level operating expenses. Shake Shack is currently evaluating store hours and identifying locations where sales levels don't justify continued operation.

Finally, the fast-casual chain has halted all construction, shelved plans to open any new locations at present, and placed a hold on non-critical capital expenditures. In sum, the "Shack" has gone into a fully defensive posture in an attempt to outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares gained more than 1% in Thursday's trading session.

Asit Sharma has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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