Just when you think that California Pizza Kitchen
Revenue climbed 13.5% to $162 million in the three months ended Sept. 30. Comps clocked in 3.5% higher, stacked atop an impressive 5.6% spurt the year before. In other words, the typical CPK eatery is generating 9.3% greater unit-level sales than it was two years ago.
The performance is a bit more robust than CPK's original expectations. Back in August, it told shareholders to expect comps to climb somewhere between 2% and 3%. It also projected quarterly profits per share of $0.03 to $0.04, after a $0.19 hit for store closures. CPK's now looking to snag a profit of $0.04 to $0.05 per share.
Don't let the closures scare you. CPK continues to expand. It's only been weak at its CPK/ASAP concept, where the company has tried to simplify its casual-dining core by stressing a limited menu served quickly, particularly for takeout orders.
Curbside pickup has been a big trend in the industry. Everyone from Cheesecake Factory
Now trading for less than 16 times next year's Wall Street profit target, the company is a compelling buy at this point. Comps keep growing, which can't be said for many of CPK's recently stumbling peers, such as Applebee's
More Jamacian than jerk, CPK is starting to look spicy again.
More oven-fresh Foolishness:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz enjoys CPK's Thai pizza, but its tasty soups and chicken piccata have been particularly calling out to him since the company opened a new restaurant near his Coral Gables home earlier this year. Rick does own shares in Cheesecake Factory. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a delicious disclosure policy.