What: Shares of Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES), a fast-casual restaurant serving Mediterranean-inspired dishes at 165 locations, are soaring more than 15% Friday morning after the company announced a strong fourth quarter on Thursday.
So what: Zoe's total revenue jumped by 31.7% to $52.7 million during the fourth quarter with comparable-restaurant sales showing a healthy 7.7% increase. That result was ahead of analysts surveyed by Zacks, which expected revenue of $50.5 million.
Zoe's net income checked in at $2.6 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, a vast improvement from last year's fourth-quarter result of a $1.6 million net loss, or $0.08 per share. Its adjusted net loss checked in at $0.03 per share, which was ahead of consensus estimates of $0.06 per share. Its adjusted EBITDA of $3.7 million was a 38.2% increase from the prior year's result.
Now what: After a strong fourth quarter, Zoe's management expects total revenue for 2016 to check in between $275 million to $280 million, which would be roughly 21% higher than 2015's full-year revenue. It's expecting comparable-store sales growth to be between 4% and 5.5%, which is slower than 2015's growth but still healthy. Expect the company's top line to continue to grow rapidly, with 34 to 36 company-owned restaurants opening during 2016.
This stock has been volatile since its IPO, but it was a great fourth quarter and Zoe's appears well poised to keep growing.