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B-Dubs Stock Volatile, But The Pros Are Still Playing It

B-Dubs Stock Volatile, But The Pros Are Still Playing It

Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD) were trading higher by more than 12 percent on Wednesday after the company reported its second-quarter results after Tuesday's market close.

Here is a summary of what Wall Street's top analysts are saying.

Stephens: ‘Most Encouraged' By Same-Store Sales Growth

Will Slabaugh of Stephens commented in a note that he was "most encouraged" by Buffalo Wild Wings' quarter to date company-owned, same-store sales growth of 4.8 percent. In addition, investors shouldn't be concerned with the company's "more tempered" earnings outlook as it was "widely expected" as well as "non-indicative" of the company's true operating performance.

Slabaugh also noted that he continues to like the stock as a long-term holding given its "undervalued growth characteristics" in addition to its "outperforming" same-store sales growth.

Shares remain Overweight rated with an unchanged $210 price target.

Related Link: Buffalo Wild Wings Myth Busted: Sales Are Not Dependent On Sporting Events

Cowen: ‘Back On Track'

Andrew Charles of Cowen commented in a note that Buffalo Wild Wings' sales momentum and prospects for the rest of the year are supportive of the bullish thesis.

Charles singled out the company's same-store sales performance for the first four weeks of the third quarter as sales accelerated to 4.8 percent in July while lapping 2014's 8.2 percent gain. Moreover, the implied comps in May and June matched April's 4.2 percent level, despite harder comparisons and an unfavorable sports calendar.

Charles also pointed out that average weekly sales growth of 4.3 percent in the second quarter at company-owned stores matched the 4.2 percent comp growth. The analyst stated that this is an "encouraging" sign that new store sales remained "robust" and "boding well" for development.

Finally, Charles suggested that debt the company didn't use for franchise acquisitions may be returned to shareholders in the form of share repurchases.

Shares remain Outperform rated with a price target raised to $220 from a previous $205.

Jefferies: Headwinds Continue, But ‘Better Than Feared' SSS In Focus

Alexander Slagle of Jefferies commented in a note that Buffalo Wild Wings' reported same-store sales of 4.2 percent was "better than feared" as positive trends held up "reasonably well" through the second quarter and into July.

Looking forward, Slagle projects the company to report a nearly 6 percent same-store sales gain in the third quarter as management remains "comfortable" that traffic isn't showing negative reaction from recent price increases. As such, the analyst is maintaining his "modest" positive traffic forecast and estimating full year same-store sales growth of 5.7 percent.

Nevertheless, Slagle did acknowledge concerns over traffic trends holding up given the "otherwise sluggish" casual dining environment and the "magnitude" of recent price increases the company implemented.

Shares remain Hold rated with a price target raised to $182 from a previous $172.

BMO: ‘Outsized' Growth Expected Over Next 12-18 Months

Finally, Andrew Strelzik of BMO Capital Markets commented in a note that Buffalo Wild Wings should see "outsized" growth over the next 12 to 18 months, as its fundamentals have now "reached an inflection point."

The company will benefit in 2016 from easier comparisons, an improving sports calendar and the implementation of sales-driving initiatives (such as tablet ordering). In addition, the ongoing delay in realizing labor efficiencies will sustain near-term labor headwinds, the company's margins should "begin to build" due to lower chicken prices (projected to fall 10 percent in 2016), more limited investment spending and the "eventual" realization of labor efficiencies.

Finally, Strelzik noted that the 41-unit franchise acquisition will likely become EPS additive in early 2016 with "building accretion" throughout the year. At the same time, the company's "strong" cash flow profile and "underutilized" balance sheet should create cash deployment opportunities.

Shares remain Outperform rated with a price target raised to $215 from a previous $205.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Latest Ratings for BWLD

Nov 2017Maxim GroupDowngradesBuyHold
Nov 2017UBSDowngradesBuyNeutral
Nov 2017Deutsche BankDowngradesBuyHold

View More Analyst Ratings for BWLD
View the Latest Analyst Ratings


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Posted-In: Alexander Slagle Andrew Charles Andrew Strelzik BMO CowenAnalyst Color Restaurants Analyst Ratings

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