Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings per Share

MINNEAPOLIS–(hospitalitybusinessnews.com)–Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.  announced today financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 25, 2016.

Key metrics for the fourth quarter, versus the same period a year ago, were:

  • Total revenue increased 0.8% to $494.2 million
  • Companyowned restaurant sales increased 0.9% to $470.5 million
  • Samestore sales decreased 4.0% at companyowned restaurants and 3.9% at franchised restaurants
  • Net earnings decreased 38.2% to $15.6 million from $25.3 million, and earnings per diluted share decreased 34.1% to $0.87 from $1.32

Key metrics for the full year 2016, versus 2015, were:

  • Total revenue increased 9.6% to $2.0 billion
  • Companyowned restaurant sales increased 10.3% to $1.9 billion
  • Samestore sales decreased 2.4% at companyowned restaurants and 2.7% at franchised restaurants
  • Net earnings decreased 0.3% to $94.7 million from $95.1 million, and earnings per diluted share increased 3.0% to $5.12 from $4.97

Sally Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The challenging restaurant environment continued in the fourth quarter and culminated with a difficult December. Our key programs to drive traffic at Buffalo Wild Wings, including FastBreak™ Lunch, Half-Price Wing Tuesdays®, and our Blazin’ Rewards® loyalty program, have driven positive traffic so far in the first quarter.”

Ms. Smith concluded, “Our focus for the year is to gain momentum on sales, improve our cost structure, grow internationally, optimize our domestic restaurant portfolio, and lower our cost of capital. The Buffalo Wild Wings brand remains differentiated, healthy, and strong and with operating income growing throughout the year. In 2017, we anticipate earnings per diluted share in the range of $5.60 to $6.00. We also recently announced an expanded share repurchase program with an accelerated timeline to achieve our target of 1.5x net debt to EBITDA by year-end.”

Revenue

  • Total revenue increased 0.8% to $494.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $490.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Full year total revenue increased 9.6% to $2.0 billion compared to $1.8 billion last year.
  • Companyowned restaurant sales for the fourth quarter increased 0.9% over the same period in 2015, to $470.5 million.
  • Franchise royalties and fees decreased 0.4% on lower revenues to $23.7 million for the quarter, versus $23.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Average weekly sales for company-owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants were $59,120 for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to $61,971 for the same quarter last year, a 4.6% decrease due to same-store sales declines and more smaller-store openings.
  • Franchised Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the United States averaged $61,397 for the period versus $64,032 in the fourth quarter a year ago, a 4.1% decrease.

Restaurant-level costs and expenses

  • Cost of sales for the fourth quarter was 31.1% of restaurant sales compared to 29.5% in the fourth quarter last year, driven by higher traditional wing costs.
    • Traditional wings were $1.99 per pound in the fourth quarter, $0.18, 9.9%, higher than last year’s fourth quarter average of $1.81.
  • Cost of labor for the fourth quarter was 31.8% of restaurant sales, 90 basis points higher than fourth quarter last year, resulting from sales deleverage, partially offset by lower Guest Experience Captain hours.
  • Restaurant operating expenses as a percentage of restaurant sales were 15.7%, an increase of 30 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2015, primarily driven by higher insurance and repair and maintenance expenses.
  • Occupancy costs were 5.9% as a percentage of restaurant sales, 30 basis points higher compared to the same quarter last year.
  • Restaurant-level profit was $73.2 million, or 15.6%, of restaurant sales, compared to $86.7 million, or 18.6%, in the fourth quarter last year. Full year restaurant level profit was $333.9 million, or 17.7%, 90 basis points lower than the prior year’s $319.0 million or 18.6% due largely to sales deleverage and higher cost of goods and labor.

Other Expenses

  • Depreciation and amortization expense for the fourth quarter was $38.3 million, increasing 4.6%, due to new unit openings.
  • General and administrative expenses were $29.4 million in the fourth quarter, decreasing 5.9% from the same period last year, due to lower compensation expense.
    • Stock-based compensation was ($2.1) million in the fourth quarter compared to $2.0 million of expense in the prior year period.
  • Preopening expenses for the quarter totaled $3.5 million, versus $4.9 million in the fourth quarter last year, due to smaller openings as well as reduced lease expense.
  • Loss on asset disposal for the fourth quarter totaled $3.9 million compared to last year of $3.3 million.
  • Interest expense was $1.6 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $0.8 million in the prior year period. The increase is a result of higher borrowing on the line of credit.
  • Other expense (income) was $(1.3) million for the quarter compared to $73,000 of expense in 2015, due to the recognition of a gain from contingent consideration.
  • The effective tax rate during the quarter was 27.9%, compared to 24.7% in the prior year.

Earnings

  • Operating income was $21.8 million in the fourth quarter, or 4.4% of total revenue, compared to $34.5 million and 7.0% in the prior year. For the year, operating income was $136.7 million, or 6.9% of total revenue, compared to $138.5 million and 7.6%.
  • Net earnings decreased 38.2% to $15.6 million in the fourth quarter, versus $25.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full year, net earnings decreased 0.3% to $94.7 million, versus $95.1 million in 2015.
  • Earnings per diluted share were $0.87, compared to fourth quarter 2015 earnings per diluted share of $1.32. Earnings per diluted share increased 3.0% to $5.12 in 2016, compared to $4.97 in 2015, driven by the $232.7 million of share repurchases in fiscal 2016.

Balance Sheet

  • Cash totaled $49.3 million at the end of 2016.
  • The credit facility had an outstanding balance of $170.0 million as of the end of the year.
  • The year ended with over $1.0 billion in total assets and $517.9 million in total equity.

Cash Flow

  • Cash flow from operations was $68.7 million for the quarter, a 2.5% decrease over the fourth quarter last year. For the full year, cash flow from operations was $282.6 million, a 19.1% increase over 2015.
  • Free cash flow in the fourth quarter was $44.8 million, compared to $22.1 million in the prior year. Free cash flow in 2016 was $140.9 million, compared to $64.7 million in the prior year.
  • 827,639 shares were repurchased for a total of $126.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2016. For the year, 1,586,533 shares were repurchased for a total of $232.7 million.

2017 Outlook

The company expects the following approximate new unit development in 2017:

  • 15 company-owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in the United States
  • 15 franchised Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the United States
  • 20 franchised Buffalo Wild Wing locations internationally
  • 2 company-owned and 12 to 15 franchised R Taco restaurants

The company expects the following in 2017:

  • Same-store sales growth of 1% to 2%
  • Restaurant-level margin improvement of 10 to 30 basis points
  • Traditional chicken wing inflation of 3.5% to 4.5%
  • Depreciation and amortization expense of $153 to $157 million
  • General and administrative expense of $149 to $153 million, including stock-based compensation of $12 to $13 million
  • Operating income growth of 9% to 13% over 2016, including the 53rd week
  • Interest and other expense of $15 million
  • Achieving leverage of 1.5x net debt to EBITDA by the end of the fiscal year
  • Share repurchases of $450 to $500 million
  • Earnings per diluted share of $5.60 to $6.00
  • Capital expenditures of approximately $100 million
  • Free cash flow of $160 to $170 million

 

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(Dollar and share amounts in thousands except per share data)
(unaudited)

Three months ended Twelve months ended
December 25,
2016
December 27,
2015
December 25,
2016
December 27,
2015
Revenue:
Restaurant sales $ 470,474 466,405 1,891,616 1,715,000
Franchise royalties and fees 23,717 23,818 95,177 97,722
Total revenue 494,191 490,223 1,986,793 1,812,722
Costs and expenses:
Restaurant operating costs:
Cost of sales 146,199 137,414 564,687 507,812
Labor 149,675 144,262 598,992 542,847
Operating 73,847 72,039 285,142 250,755
Occupancy 27,535 26,015 108,859 94,569
Depreciation and amortization 38,293 36,616 152,140 127,503
General and administrative 29,359 31,196 123,109 129,133
Pre-opening 3,539 4,903 8,730 14,154
Loss on asset disposals and impairment 3,945 3,282 8,434 7,462
Total costs and expenses 472,392 455,727 1,850,093 1,674,235
Income from operations 21,799 34,496 136,700 138,487
Interest expense 1,589 839 4,160 1,685
Other expense (income) (1,268 ) 73 (1,464 ) 661
Earnings before income taxes 21,478 33,584 134,004 136,141
Income tax expense 5,992 8,292 39,791 41,265
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests 15,486 25,292 94,213 94,876
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests (133 ) 21 (532 ) (193 )
Net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings $ 15,619 25,271 94,745 95,069
Earnings per common share – basic $ 0.87 1.33 5.14 5.00
Earnings per common share – diluted $ 0.87 1.32 5.12 4.97
Weighted average shares outstanding – basic 17,955 19,036 18,445 19,013
Weighted average shares outstanding – diluted 18,014 19,173 18,491 19,131

The following table expresses results of operations as a percentage of total revenue for the periods presented, except for restaurant operating costs which are expressed as a percentage of restaurant sales:

Three months ended Twelve months ended

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

Revenue:
Restaurant sales 95.2 % 95.1 % 95.2 % 94.6 %
Franchise royalties and fees 4.8 4.9 4.8 5.4
Total revenue 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Costs and expenses:
Restaurant operating costs:
Cost of sales 31.1 29.5 29.9 29.6
Labor 31.8 30.9 31.7 31.7
Operating 15.7 15.4 15.1 14.6
Occupancy 5.9 5.6 5.8 5.5
Depreciation and amortization 7.7 7.5 7.7 7.0
General and administrative 5.9 6.4 6.2 7.1
Pre-opening 0.7 1.0 0.4 0.8
Loss on asset disposals and impairment 0.8 0.7 0.4 0.4
Total costs and expenses 95.6 93.0 93.1 92.4
Income from operations 4.4 7.0 6.9 7.6
Interest expense 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1
Other expense (income) (0.3 ) 0.0 (0.1 ) 0.0
Earnings before income taxes 4.3 6.9 6.7 7.5
Income tax expense 1.2 1.7 2.0 2.3
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests 3.1 5.2 4.7 5.2
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests (0.0 ) 0.0 (0.0 ) (0.0 )
Net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings 3.2 % 5.2 % 4.8 % 5.2 %

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
(Dollar amounts in thousands) (unaudited)

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

Assets
Current assets:
Cash $ 49,266 11,220
Marketable securities 9,043
Accounts receivable, net of allowance of $251 and $25 34,225 34,087
Inventory 16,532 15,351
Prepaid expenses 9,075 6,386
Refundable income taxes 1,018 21,591
Restricted assets 66,471 100,073
Total current assets 176,587 197,751
Property and equipment, net 592,806 604,712
Reacquired franchise rights, net 118,973 129,282
Other assets 41,625 26,536
Goodwill 117,228 114,101
Total assets $ 1,047,219 1,072,382
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
Current liabilities:
Deferred revenue $ 3,089 2,144
Accounts payable 45,797 44,760
Accrued compensation and benefits 47,304 55,578
Accrued expenses 32,347 21,678
Current portion of long-term debt and capital lease obligations 3,745 2,147
Current portion of deferred lease credits 873 59
System-wide payables 108,814 137,257
Total current liabilities 241,969 263,623
Long-term liabilities:
Other liabilities 16,109 16,473
Deferred income taxes 21,588 23,726
Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, net of current portion 205,312 70,954
Deferred lease credits, net of current 44,341 41,869
Total liabilities 529,319 416,645
Commitments and contingencies
Stockholders’ equity:
Undesignated stock, 1,000,000 shares authorized, none issued
Common stock, no par value. Authorized 44,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding 17,462,465 and 18,917,776, respectively 147,234 160,353
Retained earnings 374,683 499,085
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (3,878 ) (4,094 )
Total stockholders’ equity 518,039 655,344
Noncontrolling interest (139 ) 393
Total equity 517,900 655,737
Total liabilities and equity $ 1,047,219 1,072,382

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(Dollar amounts in thousands)
(unaudited)

Twelve months ended

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

Cash flows from operating activities:
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests $ 94,213 94,876
Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by operations:
Depreciation and amortization 152,140 127,503
Loss on asset disposals and impairment 8,434 7,462
Deferred lease credits 4,284 4,052
Deferred income taxes (2,138 ) (281 )
Stock-based compensation 325 13,647
Excess tax benefit from stock issuance (204 ) (5,455 )
Change in fair value of contingent consideration (3,691 )
Loss on investments in affiliates 2,805 687
Provision for bad debt expense 226
Change in operating assets and liabilities, net of effect of acquisitions:
Trading securities (495 )
Accounts receivable 4,358 (4,313 )
Inventory (1,148 ) (2,407 )
Prepaid expenses (2,677 ) (691 )
Other assets (7,778 ) (6,381 )
Deferred revenue 945 100
Accounts payable 4,462 4,445
Income taxes 20,777 (6,356 )
Accrued expenses 7,256 10,867
Net cash provided by operating activities 282,589 237,260
Cash flows from investing activities:
Acquisition of property and equipment (141,699 ) (172,548 )
Acquisition of businesses/investments in affiliates (3,862 ) (203,642 )
Purchase of marketable securities (488 ) (12,301 )
Proceeds from sale of marketable securities 1,205 23,300
Net cash used in investing activities (144,844 ) (365,191 )
Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from revolving credit facility 668,377 352,678
Repayments of revolving credit facility (532,907 ) (318,148 )
Proceeds from related party borrowing 6,365 36,179
Repurchases of common stock (232,696 ) (25,000 )
Other financing activities (3,901 ) (3,173 )
Issuance of common stock 4,209 5,355
Excess tax benefit from stock issuance 204 5,455
Tax payments for restricted stock units (9,317 ) (7,847 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities (99,666 ) 45,499
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents (33 ) 323
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 38,046 (82,109 )
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year 11,220 93,329
Cash and cash equivalents at end of year $ 49,266 11,220

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplemental Information

Restaurant Count

Company-owned Restaurants (includes Buffalo Wild Wings, R Taco, and Buffalo Wild Wings-owned PizzaRev locations):

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2016 603 609 617 631
2015 501 517 573 596
2014 443 449 463 491
2013 397 407 415 434
2012 327 330 343 381

Franchised Restaurants (includes Buffalo Wild Wings and R Taco locations):

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2016 587 596 602 609
2015 593 593 569 579
2014 569 579 588 591
2013 514 525 534 559
2012 505 505 511 510

Restaurant Count Rollforward:

Twelve months ended
December 25, 2016 December 27, 2015
Corporate Franchise Total Corporate Franchise Total
Buffalo Wild Wings
Beginning of period 590 573 1,163 487 584 1,071
Opened 34 36 70 51 50 101
Acquired 1 (1 ) 54 (54 )
Closed/Relocated (4 ) (6 ) (10 ) (2 ) (7 ) (9 )
End of period 621 602 1,223 590 573 1,163
R Taco
Beginning of period 4 6 10 2 7 9
Opened 5 1 6 1 1
Acquired 1 (1 )
Closed/Relocated (1 ) (1 )
End of period 8 7 15 4 6 10
PizzaRev
Beginning of period 2 n/a 2 2 n/a 2
Opened n/a n/a
Acquired n/a n/a
Closed/Relocated n/a n/a
End of period 2 n/a 2 2 n/a 2
Consolidated
End of the period 631 609 1,240 596 579 1,175

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplemental Information

Same-Store Sales at Buffalo Wild Wings locations in United States and Canada

Company-owned Restaurants:

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2016 (1.7%) (2.1%) (1.8%) (4.0%) (2.4%)
2015 7.0% 4.2% 3.9% 1.9% 4.2%
2014 6.6% 7.7% 6.0% 5.9% 6.5%
2013 1.4% 3.8% 4.8% 5.2% 3.9%
2012 9.2% 5.3% 6.2% 5.8% 6.6%

Franchised Restaurants:

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2016 (2.4%) (2.6%) (1.6%) (3.9%) (2.7%)
2015 6.0% 2.5% 1.2% 0.1% 2.5%
2014 5.0% 6.5% 5.7% 5.1% 5.6%
2013 2.2% 4.1% 3.9% 3.1% 3.3%
2012 7.3% 5.5% 5.8% 7.4% 6.5%

Average Weekly Sales Volumes at Buffalo Wild Wings locations in United States and Canada

Company-owned Restaurants:

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2016

$

62,829

59,894 59,690 59,120 60,366
2015 64,851 61,960 61,831 61,971 62,529
2014 60,966 59,403 59,643 62,119 60,470
2013 56,953 54,759 55,592 58,204 56,392
2012 55,131 51,524 52,561 55,595 53,783

Franchised Restaurants:

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2016

$

65,636

62,454 61,497 61,397 62,662
2015 67,075 63,904 62,819 64,032 64,474
2014 63,852 61,845 61,586 63,949 62,595
2013 60,050 58,186 58,926 61,167 59,594
2012 57,282 54,766 55,608 58,490 56,570

Restaurant-Level Profit and Restaurant-Level Margin

Restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin are neither required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and are non-GAAP financial measures. Restaurant-level profit is defined restaurant sales less restaurant operating costs (cost of sales, labor, operating, and occupancy expense). Restaurant-level margin is defined as restaurant-level profit as a percentage of restaurant sales. Restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin have limitations as analytical tools, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management believes the restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin are important tools for investors because they are widely-used metrics within the restaurant industry to evaluate restaurant-level productivity, efficiency and performance. Management uses restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin as key performance indicators to evaluate the profitability of company-owned restaurants.

A reconciliation of restaurant sales to restaurant-level margin is provided below:

Three months ended Twelve months ended

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

Restaurant sales $ 470,474 466,405 1,891,616 1,715,000
Restaurant operating costs 397,256 379,730 1,557,680 1,395,983
Restaurant-level profit 73,218 86,675 333,936 319,017
Restaurant-level margin 15.6 % 18.6 % 17.7 % 18.6 %

EBITDA

EBITDA is not required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and is a non-GAAP financial measure. The Company defines EBITDA as net earnings including non-controlling interests plus interest expense, income tax expense, and depreciation and amortization. EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management believes investors’ understanding of our performance is enhanced by including this non-GAAP financial measure as a reasonable basis for evaluating our ongoing results of operations, without the effects of interest, taxes, and depreciation and amortization.

A reconciliation of net earnings including noncontrolling interests to EBITDA is provided below:

Three months ended Twelve months ended

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

December 25,
2016

December 27,
2015

Net earnings including noncontrolling interests $ 15,486 25,292 94,213 94,876
Income tax expense 5,992 8,292 39,791 41,265
Interest expense 1,589 839 4,160 1,685
Depreciation and amortization 38,293 36,616 152,140 127,503
EBITDA $ 61,360 71,039 290,304 265,329
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