There comes a time when every fast-growing eatery ultimately hits that brick wall.
It would be insensitive for me to claim that P.F. Chang's
This morning, P.F. Chang's posted a dip in third-quarter profits as sales inched 14% higher to hit $231 million. Earnings fell to $0.25 a share after producing a profit of $0.31 a share a year earlier. Yes, that includes stock-based compensation charges and the need to account for certain pre-opening expenses as incurred instead of written over the term of the lease, but this is still a moribund operator at the moment.
Even that 14% top-line uptick is disappointing, because P.F. Chang's now has 239 units open -- 24% more than it had this time last year. In other words, average weekly sales are also dipping at the unit level.
Hoping to catch lightning in a bottle for the third time, the company opened a third concept earlier this month in its home turf of Scottsdale, Arizona. Taneko Japanese Tavern isn't in the same teppanyaki mold as Benihana's
It's an interesting approach and not necessarily a bad one. Kona Grill
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has always enjoyed his meals at P.F. Chang's, but he does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.