News Column

Buffalo Wild Wings 4Q profit grows faster than revenue

February 4, 2014

By Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Feb. 04 -- Buffalo Wild Wings' fourth-quarter profits soared 25 percent and the restaurant operator handily topped Wall Street's earnings expectations. Golden Valley -based Buffalo Wild Wings , one of the nation's hottest restaurant concepts, Tuesday posted fourth-quarter earnings of $20.8 million or $1.10 per share, compared to $16.7 million and 89 cents per share a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting profits at an average of $1.06 per share for 2013's fourth quarter, and sales of $346.9 million . Wild Wings fell short of sales expectations, posting revenues of $341.5 million , up 12.4 percent over a year earlier. "The fourth quarter completed a great year for Buffalo Wild Wings ," CEO Sally Smith said in a press statement. Known for its beer, wings and sports motif, Buffalo Wild Wings recently opened its 1,000th restaurant. The company's fourth-quarter bottom line was buoyed by a decrease in cost of sales as a percentage or revenues. One of Wild Wings' biggest costs is chicken wings, which have been trending downward in recent months. Meanwhile, same-store store sales -- which adjust for recently opened or closed restaurants -- rose 5.3 percent at company-owned outlets during the quarter. And 2014 is off to a solid start with same-store sales at company-owned restaurants up 4.8 percent in the first five weeks over the same time a year ago. Wild Wings earnings were released after the stock market closed. Its shares were at $143.13 in after hours trading, up $2.38 or 1.7 percent. Wild Wings stock closed Tuesday at $140.75 , up $4.71 or 3.5 percent. ___ Mike Hughlett -- 612-673-7003 ___ (c)2014 Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

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