Fast-food chain Wingstop (WING) on Tuesday said in a preliminary fiscal Q3 report that comparable-store sales rose 25.4%, a strong figure but a slowdown from the prior quarter. Wingstop stock popped in the premarket but fell in morning trading.
Systemwide sales increased 32.8% to about $509.2 million for the chicken wings chain. Notably, digital sales increased 62%. And company-owned restaurant same-store sales increased 15.2%.
“Despite the challenging industry backdrop, we achieved 43 global net new openings during the quarter,” stated CEO Charlie Morrison is a news release. “I am thankful for the support of our team members and brand partners in achieving these extraordinary results during these difficult times. We remain focused on executing against our growth strategies and our vision of becoming a top 10 global restaurant brand.”
However, in the second quarter, same-store sales growth was 31.9%, with systemwide sales up 37% to $509 million. Digital sales leapt 63.7%.
Wingstop earnings and full third-quarter results will come Nov. 2.
Shares fell 6.7% to 132.74 in the stock market today. Wingstop stock is in a consolidation with a 170.10 buy point, but it’s considerably below its 50-day line. WING stock plunged in early September as the broader market retreated, but the eatery hasn’t bounced back.
WING stock has a solid RS Rating of 87 with an impressive EPS Rating of 96. Rival Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) has an RS Rating of 86 and an EPS Rating of 99. And Brinker International (EAT), which operates Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants, has an RS Rating of 96 but a dismal EPS Rating of 34.
Pivot To Online
Wingstop has 1,479 restaurants systemwide, including 1,308 restaurants in the U.S. Of those, 1,277 are franchised and 31 are company owned. It also has 171 international franchised restaurants across nine countries.
The company had already been making a heavy push to grow its online business before the pandemic. Carryout and delivery accounted for roughly 80% of Wingstop sales, with about 40% of orders coming in via digital channels, the company said. That gave it an advantage over restaurants that relied more heavily on dine-in customers.
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