What: Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) fell as much as 18% early Thursday after the wings, beer, and sports-centric restaurant chain released weaker-than-expected third-quarter results and reduced its full-year earnings guidance.
So what: Quarterly revenue climbed 22% year over year to $455.5 million, including a 3.6% increase in franchise and royalty fees, and 23.2% growth in company-owned restaurant sales. Same-store sales climbed 3.9% at company-owned locations, and 1.2% at franchised locations. Keep in mind Buffalo Wild Wings achieved this growth in spite of a shift in the sports calendar versus the year-ago period, resulting in one less week of football and fewer pay-per-view events to draw in diners.
Meanwhile, thanks to a combination of rising costs of sales and labor, and additional depreciation, amortization, and expenses related to its $160 million acquisition of 41 franchises during the quarter, Buffalo Wild Wings' earnings fell 12.3% year over year to $1.00 per diluted share.
Analysts, on average, were anticipating revenue of $465 million, and earnings of $1.29 per diluted share.
Now what: In addition, Buffalo Wild Wings offered a revised look at the remainder of 2015, as well as initial expectations for 2016.
Speaking of the former, Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith commented, "In anticipation of our purchase of the 41 franchised locations, we previously revised our 2015 net earnings growth goal to 13% to account for the incremental expense and transition costs we expected to incur in the third and fourth quarters. Based on our year-to-date results and updated outlook for the fourth quarter, we are now anticipating single-digit net earnings growth for the year."
On the latter, Buffalo Wild Wings expects to open 50 company-owned Buffalo Wild Wings, while franchisees should add 45 locations (30 in the U.S., and 15 international). Combined with the modest early stage expansion of Buffalo Wild Wings' complementary R Taco and PizzaRev concepts, and the company's operational and sales-driving initiatives, 2016 net earnings are expected to exceed 20%.
However, analysts on Wall Street were already expecting Buffalo Wild Wings to achieve nearly 27% growth in earnings per share in 2016 -- and that was based on the company's previous guidance for 2015 earnings growth of 13%.
To be fair, during the subsequent conference call Buffalo Wild Wings CFO Mary Twinem did note their 2016 guidance doesn't specifically account for potential accretion to earnings from the large franchise acquisition. Twinem also elaborated "I think we are just entering our guidance for 2016 in a cautious mode based on where our same-store sales are to-date, and obviously we've heard comments in the industry overall."
So in the end, Buffalo Wild Wings might well be poised to outperform relative to its expectations today. But for now -- and with the caveat that I'm perfectly content holding onto my own shares in favor of a much longer-term view -- I can't blame the market for bidding down Buffalo Wild Wings stock today.