Shares of BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI), a national restaurant brand with brewhouse roots, are down nearly 9% Friday morning after reporting of fourth-quarter earnings.
BJ’s Restaurants’ fourth-quarter revenue increased 7.4% to $280.5 million, topping analysts’ estimates of $278 million, driven by a 4.5% increase in comparable restaurant sales. The jump in comparable-store sales was driven by a 1.1% increase in guest traffic and a fatter average check. The bottom line, however, fell short of expectations. BJ’s Restaurants reported adjusted earnings-per-share of $0.49, just under analysts’ estimates calling for $0.50.
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“The comprehensive range of sales and hospitality initiatives we implemented over the last several years has continued to drive positive comparable restaurant sales in 2019, despite some recent sales momentum challenges from severe weather throughout much of the country,” said Greg Trojan, chief executive officer, in a press release.
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The company plans to continue opening stores at a balanced pace to drive top-line growth, including a target of opening seven to nine new restaurants in 2019, while also focusing on new slow-roast menu items, daily brewhouse specials and EnLIGHTened Entrees to boost comparable-store sales. Further, management hopes to grow its off-premises channels using take-out and delivery technology and party/catering business. While BJ’s Restaurants stock has continued its decline, the company has still reported solid results in recent quarters.