The Cheesecake Factory Inc.’s (CAKE - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2018 results, wherein earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the two consecutive quarters. The bottom line also declined sharply from the prior-year quarter number. Following the quarterly results, shares of the company decreased 9% in after-hours trading on Jul 31.
Adjusted earnings of 65 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 81 cents by 19.8%. The reported figure also declined 16.7% on a year-over-year basis. Particularly, higher-than-expected medical insurance cost along with some legal expenses dented the company’s earnings in the second quarter.
However, Cheesecake Factory’s robust sales-building initiatives aided to the top line. The company extensively started digital and social media campaigns to showcase its high-quality ingredients and preparation techniques besides focusing on menu innovation.
Let’s delve deeper into the numbers.
Detailed Revenue Discussion
Total revenues came in at $593.2 million, which surpassed the consensus estimate of $590 million by 0.5%. The top line also improved 4.1% year over year on the back of increased comparable sales.
Comps at Cheesecake Factory restaurants increased 1.4%, whereas the same declined 0.5% in the year-ago quarter. In first-quarter 2018, the company recorded a comps growth of 2.1%.
Cost of sales ratio decreased 10 basis points (bps) year over year to 22.5%. Meanwhile, labor expense ratio was 35.8%, up 190 bps from the year-ago quarter. This upside was primarily driven by higher hourly labor, including more wages, overtime and training costs.
General and administrative (G&A) expenses accounted for 7% of revenues in second-quarter 2018, up 80 bps owing to $4.5 million of legal expenses. According to the company, without these costs, G&A expenses (as a percentage of sales) would have been flat year over year. Notably, pre-opening expenses were 0.3% of total revenues, up 10 bps from the year-ago quarter.
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
As of Jul 3, 2018, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $29.4 million compared with $6 million as of Jan 2, 2018.
Management raised quarterly dividend by 14% to 33 cents per share of common stock. The dividend will be payable Aug 28, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug 15, 2018.
In the first quarter of 2018, Cheesecake Factory repurchased approximately 140,000 shares of its common stock at a cost of $7.1 million.
Third-Quarter 2018 Outlook
For the third quarter, adjusted earnings per share are estimated to be in the range of 56-60 cents based on an anticipated comps outlook within 1.5-2.5% at Cheesecake Factory restaurants.
Cheesecake Factory expects earnings per share to be in the $2.40-$2.48 band (down from the previously guided range of $2.62-$2.74). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings is pegged at $2.69.
Meanwhile, the company expects comps to grow in the range of 1.5-2% compared with previously expected comps growth of 1-2%.
For 2018, Cheesecake Factory continues to expect capital expenditures between $80 million and $90 million.
Additionally, the company expects to open six restaurants in 2018. Internationally, it plans to open three restaurants in the same period.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Cheesecake Factory carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the same space include BJ's Restaurants, Inc. (BJRI - Free Report) , Wingstop Inc. (WING - Free Report) and Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc. (FRSH - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
BJ's Restaurants has an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 15.3%.
Wingstop reported better-than-expected earnings in the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 16.2%.
Papa Murphy's Holdings has long-term earnings growth rate of 11%.
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