Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Shares of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group Inc. Slumped on Thursday

By Timothy Green – Jul 23, 2015 at 7:02AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The steak house operator missed analyst estimates on all fronts, with declining comparable-stores sales and weak guidance sending the stock tumbling.

What: Shares of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group (DFRG) slumped on Thursday after the company missed analyst estimates for both revenue and earnings when it reported its second-quarter results. At 2:30 Thursday afternoon, the stock was down about 16%.

So what: Del Frisco reported quarterly revenue of $73.8 million, up 9.5% year-over-year but about $1.5 million short of analyst estimates. This growth was driven by new restaurant openings, as total comparable-store sales declined by 1.4% during the quarter.

Comparable-store sales increased at only one of the company's three segments. At Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, comparable-store sales rose 1%, driven by a 5.8% increase in average check offset by a 4.8% decrease in customer counts. The other two segments, Sullivan's Steakhouse and Del Frisco's Grille, saw comparable-store sales declines of 3% and 6.3%, respectively.

Del Frisco reported EPS of $0.16, down from $0.20 during the same period last year and $0.03 short of analyst estimates. The company lowered its guidance for comparable-store sales for the full fiscal year, now expecting an increase between 0.5% and 1.5%, down from a previous range of 2%-3%. Del Frisco expects revenue to increase by 10%-13%, driven by seven new stores being opened.

Now what: Investors are clearly disappointed in Del Frisco's results. While the company is growing revenue by opening new restaurants, its existing restaurants aren't performing well. In addition to declining comparable-store sales, restaurant-level EBITDA as a percentage of revenue declined by one percentage point year-over-year to 22.3%.

Del Frisco's stock has declined by about 50% since it peaked a little more than one year ago. The stock trades at about 20 times 2014 earnings, but with comparable-store sales growth expected to be anemic this year, and with profitability declining, the stock's decline may not be over.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.