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 BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) were getting sent back to the kitchen today, falling as much as 13% after the company reported another disappointing quarter.
So what: Despite sales growth of 10% to $198.5 million in the quarter, net income actually slid 4% to just $0.30, a penny below analyst projections. Revenue also missed the consensus at $202.5 million. Higher occupancy and depreciation costs were the major reason for the drop in profits, but same-store sales were also flat, a warning sign that the company may only be able to grow sales through adding new stores.
Now what: BJ's is essentially an expansion play for investors as the company plans to increase its store count 13% this year from 136 to 153. Management believes there is room in the market for 425 more BJ's locations, but the flat same-store sales figure forces the market to question the actual demand for more BJ's restaurants. With the foodie revolution and the rise of fast-casual stars like Chipotle and Panera, chains like BJ's seemed destined to lose customers no matter how many locations pop up. I'd leave this one on the back burner.