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Why Texas Roadhouse Inc Shares Popped

By Brian D. Pacampara, CFA - Feb 23, 2016 at 1:01PM

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The restaurant operator soars on a solid Q4.

What: Shares of full-service restaurant operator Texas Roadhouse Inc (TXRH -0.96%) were up 13.8% at 11:45 a.m. EST on Tuesday after its quarterly results and outlook impressed Wall Street.

So what: Texas Roadhouse shares have climbed in recent months on optimism over accelerating growth, and Tuesday's Q4 results -- EPS of $0.32 topped the consensus by $0.02 on revenue growth of 12.3% -- coupled with solid guidance only reinforce that enthusiasm. In fact, same-store sales at company restaurants increased 4.5% while restaurant margin expanded 112 basis points to 17.6%, suggesting that its competitive position is strengthening nicely as well.

Now what: For 2016, management plans to open roughly 30 company restaurants -- including about seven Bubba's 33 locations -- and expects same-store sales growth to remain positive. "Our top-line momentum has continued into 2016 and we are pleased to have seen continued traffic growth during the first seven weeks of the year," said CEO Kent Taylor. "Looking ahead, we will stay focused on solidifying our long-term brand position and capitalizing on our growth potential." Of course, with the shares hitting a new 52-week high Tuesday and trading at a P/E premium to the industry, investors might want to wait for the stock to cool off a bit before taking a big bite.

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