Analyst: McDonald's promo no big threat to Buffalo

Analyst not overly concerned about McDonald's wings impacting Buffalo Wild Wings

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst said Tuesday that he's not overly concerned that McDonald's limited time chicken wings offering will pressure Buffalo Wild Wings due to the company's new pricing plan and better cost outlook.

McDonald's Corp. will have Mighty Wings at some of its restaurants starting on Sept. 9, with the offering available nationwide by Sept. 24. The bone-in chicken wings will be sold in three, five and 10 pieces, with prices starting at $2.99. The wings are expected to exit McDonald's restaurants by the end of November.

Robert Derrington of Wunderlich Securities said in a client note that Buffalo Wild Wings' new wing-pricing strategy, which sells wings by portion instead of individually, will help protect the company's costs from being impacted by fluctuating wing sizes and volatile commodity prices. The chain is also benefiting from a recent drop in wing prices and will likely gain from one extra week of NFL and NCAA football programming in September, he added.

Derrington expects McDonald's Mighty Wings will have a minimal impact on Buffalo Wild Wings' business, but noted that it could make future wing prices more volatile as McDonald's looks for enough chicken wing supply for its restaurants for the limited offering.

Still, the analyst feels that Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. has the ability to do well during good economic times and bad because it offers "families and sports fans a relatively low-cost, entertaining meal with its state-of-the-art TV systems, friendly service and broad menu of shareable wings and things."

Derrington reaffirmed a "Buy" rating and raised the company's price target to $118 from $117.

Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings declined $1.40 to $106.58 in afternoon trading, while McDonald's stock fell 25 cents to $95.06.

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