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The global restaurant giant Wingstop Inc. (WING - Free Report) announced plans to expand into Australia and New Zealand.

After the recent opening of the first Wingstop locations in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, this expansion plan is the sixth and seventh announcements made in the past 12 months. Moreover, Australia and New Zealand will mark the eleventh and twelfth international markets for the company, respectively.

Known for its classic menu, Wingstop entered into a franchise agreement with a newly created body under John Bridgeman Limited. The plan is to open 110 restaurants over the next 10 years in Australia and New Zealand with its first opening in Brisbane planned in the first half of 2018.

John Bridgeman, a master franchisee of American restaurant brand, is efficient in matters of extensive financial and management support and cashing in on investment opportunities. Thus, the franchise agreement will prove beneficial for Wingstop in terms of strong brand recognition.

Expansion and Development Initiatives

To build a strong brand portfolio, the company has established 1,000 locations worldwide, including the United States, Mexico, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, there are 1,056 system-wide Wingstop restaurants as of Jul 1, 2017. This included 967 restaurants in the United States out of which 21 were company owned while the rest were franchised.

In terms of global expansion, the company marked its presence through 89 franchised restaurants across six countries.

Additionally, the two recently acquired restaurants in the Dallas market recorded historical annual sales volume, reflecting the company’s strong commitment toward growth and brand building.

Share Price Performance

Notably, the company’s shares have outperformed the industry year to date. The stock has gained 18.3% as against the industry’s gain of 6.4%. Further global expansion and brand-building initiatives are expected to prove beneficial for the company.

Moreover, earnings estimate revisions for the current year have improved by 4.3% in the last 90 days; giving investors reasons enough to bank on the stock.



Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Wingstop carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the sector are Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, Inc. (BBRG - Free Report) , Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. (TACO - Free Report) and Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA - Free Report) . All the three companies currently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Bravo Brio Restaurant’s current year earnings are expected to increase 41.2%.

Current year earnings for Del Taco are likely to rise 6.3%.

Papa John's expects an increase in current year earnings of 11.8%.

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