Wingstop (WING) - Get Wingstop, Inc. Report has been cooking up some solid results for investors to chew on since its initial public offering in June. Now at more than 800 restaurants, the up and coming wing joint is on track to achieve its 12th straight year of same-store sales increases. That is no small feat in the ultra-competitive fast-food business.
Third quarter domestic same-store sales rose 6.3% year over year, while net profits excluding one-time items improved 25%. Although sales and profits have come in meaty for Wingstop and several other emerging restaurants that have conducted IPOs recently, shares of the entire group have come under considerable selling pressure. Shares of Wingstop have shed about 32% from their June 12 closing price on the day of its IPO. Shake Shack (SHAK) - Get Shake Shack, Inc. Class A Report , which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in late January, has seen its stock plunge by 54% from its 52-week high in May.
Fogo De Chao (FOGO) , which like Wingstop went public in June, has lost roughly 42% from its high achieved that month. Asked if a bubble has burst in the market for emerging restaurant chains, Wingstop's CEO stressed the company is delivering where it has to -- consistent same-store sales growth and about 120 new restaurant openings for the year.
"It's hard to explain what all that is about," conceded Wingstop President and CEO Charlie Morrison in an interview with TheStreet regarding the market selloff. Meanwhile, the restaurant industry continues to have its attention on Chipotle's (CMG) - Get Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Report highly publicized E. coli outbreak, which is still sweeping across the country and in the process, weighing heavily on its once strong sales as consumers lose trust in the brand.
"I can't see that we have had any specific impact on Wingstop," from the Chipotle situation, said Morrison. "We have very strict standards that we adhere to in our restaurants to ensure that challenges like that [Chipotle] don't hit us."
Morrison made a point to mention that Wingstop doesn't have much fresh produce in its restaurants, which can often be a carrier of E. coli. Nevertheless, relief may finally be on the way for Wingstop, as well as fellow wing destination Buffalo Wild Wings, as it pertains to stubborn chicken wing price inflation.
Chicken wing prices have steadily declined since late May as chicken production rebounds following the outbreak of Avian flu in the spring. "As long as the market holds for us like we think it will, there is a lot of supply of product out there today -- we will see much lower chicken wing prices in the fourth quarter of this year and that should carry into 2016."