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Morgan Stanley Reviews El Pollo Loco Earnings

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El Pollo Loco (LOCO) on Track to Boost Digital Capabilities

In a report published Friday, Morgan Stanley analysts maintained an Equal-Weight rating on El Polo LoCo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: LOCO), with a price target of $28.

El Polo Loco reported its 1Q05 earnings in-line with expectations but disappointed on the comps front. "While still early in its new unit development story, LOCO didn't deliver the comp gains that investors had become used to for this still-young public company," the analysts said.

"While running multiple, higher price point non-chicken limited time offers (LTOs) were blamed for confusing the customer and providing less incrementality than we'd seen in the past, it also underscores how LOCO has become dependent on these promotions to drive sales," the analysts pointed out.

The company's lower-than-expected interest expenses in 1Q15 were attributable to a debt paydown and a refinance. Reduced interest expenses are expected to provide incremental benefits in the near future.

The Modelware EPS estimates for 2015 and 2016 have been raised from $0.68 to $0.69 and from $0.79 to $0.80, respectively, to reflect lower interest expense.

El Polo LoCo is expected to face 2Q comps of below 3 percent. The company may need to adjust its marketing strategy to deal with continued softer trends in 2Q and challenging comps.

Latest Ratings for LOCO

Aug 2017Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight
Nov 2016William BlairDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Nov 2016Wells FargoDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for LOCO
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Posted-In: Morgan StanleyAnalyst Color Reiteration Analyst Ratings


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