Wingstop Reports 70% Rise in Third-Quarter Earnings

Wingstop also announces a special cash dividend of $5 a share.
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Chicken-wing restaurant chain operator Wingstop  (WING) - Get Report reported a 70% increase in third-quarter earnings and announced a special cash dividend of $5 a share.

Shares of the Dallas-based company were up  2.44% to $119.50 in trading Monday.

Wingstop reported net income $10.1 million, or 34 cents a share, up 70.7% from year-earlier earnings of $5.9 million, or 20 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet called for earnings of 34 cents a share.

Revenue increased 28.3% to $64 million, compared with forecasts of $64.1 million.

Digital sales increased to 62%, while system-wide sales increased 32.8% to $509.2 million. Domestic same-store sales increased 25.4%.

Company-owned restaurant sales increased $1.6 million to $15.5 million, primarily due to company-owned same-store sales growth of 15.2%, which was driven by both an increase in transactions and an increase in transaction size.

Wingstop reported 43 net new openings in the third quarter. Looking ahead, the company said it expected net system-wide restaurant openings to range between 135 to 140, up from the earlier projection of 120 to 130.

As of Sept. 26, there were 1,479 Wingstop restaurants system-wide, including 1,308 restaurants in the U.S. The company has roughly 209 full-time employees.

Cost of sales increased to $11.8 million from $10.3 million. As a percentage of company-owned restaurant sales, cost of sales was 76% compared with 74.2% in the prior year, primarily due to additional incentive pay for restaurant employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company's board approved a special cash dividend of $5 a share, payable on Dec. 3, to stockholders of record as of Nov. 20 in conjunction with the completion of its $480 million recapitalization, which was used to repay $317 million in principal outstanding securitized notes issued in 2018. 

Wingstop said it also entered into a $50 million variable funding note facility, which will allow the company to borrow amounts as needed replace the existing $20 million variable funding notes facility.