BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. BJRI reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2019. With this, the company’s top line surpassed estimates for six straight quarters while the bottom line exceeded it in five of the trailing six quarters.
Adjusted earnings of 62 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings of 51 cents by 21.6%. The bottom line, however, decreased 11.4% year over year.
Revenues & Comps
Total quarterly revenues were $290.6 million, which surpassed the consensus estimate of $289.1 million by 0.5%. The top line also grew 4.3% year over year, driven by increased guest traffic and comps.
Comparable restaurant sales in the quarter under review increased 4.2%. The uptick was driven by a 0.7% increase in guest traffic and rise in average check. Notably, comps growth was slightly lower than 4.5% increase recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018 and compared favorably with 2% increase in the year-ago quarter. The company stated that robust sales-building efforts and marketing efficiency will continue to drive comps in the quarters to come.
BJ's Restaurants, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
BJ's Restaurants, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | BJ's Restaurants, Inc. Quote
Expenses & Operating Margins
Labor costs, as a percentage of sales, increased 10 basis points (bps) to 36.2% in the first quarter while occupancy and operating costs (as a percentage of sales) were 21%, up 40 bps year over year.
Restaurant-level operating margin was 17.4%, down 80 bps from the year-ago quarter number. In order to counter high costs prevalent in the industry, the company is undertaking various cost-saving and efficiency initiatives to drive margins.
As of Apr 2, 2019, cash and cash equivalents totaled $25.7 million compared with $29.2 million as of Jan 2, 2019.
Total debt increased to $102 million at the end of the first quarter from $95 million at 2018 end.
BJ's Restaurants declared a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents, payable on May 27, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 13, 2019.
Zacks Rank & Peer Releases
BJ’s Restaurants currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Darden DRI reported third-quarter fiscal 2019 results, wherein earnings and revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Adjusted earnings of $1.80 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.75. Moreover, the bottom line increased 5.3% year over year on the back of higher revenues.
Chipotle CMG reported better-than-expected results in the first quarter of 2019. Adjusted earnings of $3.40 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.01 by 13%. The bottom line also grew 59.6% from the year-ago quarter, backed by increased revenues and lower food costs.
Domino’s DPZ reported mixed first-quarter 2019 financial numbers, wherein earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missed the same. Adjusted earnings of $2.20 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.07 and increased 10% on a year-over-year basis. The bottom-line improvement was driven by higher net income and lower diluted share count as a result of share repurchases.
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