Market Overview

4 Reasons Why Wedbush Upgraded Wingstop

4 Reasons Why Wedbush Upgraded Wingstop

Chicken wing restaurant chain Wingstop Inc (NASDAQ: WING) boats multiple catalysts that are "underappreciated" by investors and not factored into the stock's valuation, according to Wedbush.

The Analyst

Wedbush's Nick Setyan upgraded Wingstop from Neutral to Outperform with a price target lifted from $51 to $59.

The Thesis

The case for aggressiveness on Wingstop's stock is fourfold, Setyan said in the upgrade note. (See the analyst's track record here.) 

  • Recent firsthand checks suggests the Street is understating the company's same-store sales growth potential through 2019. In fact, Wingstop should at the very least sustain a mid-single digit same-store sales growth through 2019 versus consensus estimates of 3.2 percent in the third quarter, 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.5 percent for full year 2019.
  • Favorable wing costs coupled with more favorable SG&A implies the potential for Wingstop to beat unit-level margin estimates of 27.7 percent, the analyst said.
  • The company could take advantage of more favorable wing prices in generating higher margins in new stores.
  • Wingstop's existing U.S. franchise base is likely to continue developing new units even if initial returns on investments decline to a "still-sufficient" metric of 25 percent, Setyan said. The company's international opportunity ahead is favorable and unit growth could mimic the growth profile of pizza and other chicken chains, the analyst said. 

Price Action

Wingstop shares were trading higher by 2.27 percent at the time of publication Thursday. 

Related Links:

Stifel's Restaurant Stock Menu: What To Buy, What To Sell

Morgan Stanley, Stephens Optimistic On Wingstop Despite Questionable 2018 Guidance

Latest Ratings for WING

May 2020Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight
May 2020JefferiesMaintainsHold
May 2020BMO CapitalMaintainsOutperform

View More Analyst Ratings for WING
View the Latest Analyst Ratings


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