Why Wingstop Earnings Are Flying High

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When Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) released its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Friday, the company said that it had $0.25 in earnings per share (EPS) on $37.4 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.20 in EPS on revenue of $36.12 million. Also, the first quarter of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.22 and $26.57 million in revenue.

During the quarter, systemwide sales increased 20.4% to $313.0 million, and the systemwide restaurant count increased 12.2% to 1,157 global locations. Domestic same-store sales increased 9.5% in this quarter as well.

Cost of sales increased to $7.4 million from the $6.6 million in the year-ago quarter. As a percentage of company-owned restaurant sales, cost of sales decreased to 67.2% from 77.2%. The decrease was driven primarily by an 11.3% decrease in the cost of bone-in chicken wings as compared to the prior-year period, as well as Wingstop’s ability to leverage costs as a result of the 12.5% increase in company-owned restaurant same-store sales.

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see EPS of $0.75, low single-digit domestic same-store sales growth, as well as 10% or more systemwide unit growth. The consensus estimates call for $0.77 in EPS on $146.49 million in revenue for the year.

CEO Charlie Morrison commented:

Our strong start in 2018 is another example of the strength of our model and the outstanding performance of our franchisees and team members. This strong start gives us confidence in our ability to deliver 2018 results that are above our long term targets.  The strong top line momentum in the first quarter of 2018 led to adjusted EBITDA growth of 31.0% and adjusted net income growth of 16.4%.

Shares of Wingstop hit a new 52-week high of $55.85 Friday morning. The consensus analyst price target is $49.62, and the 52-week low is $28.28.

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