Buffalo Wild Still Flying on Profits

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. ( TheStreet) -- Buffalo Wild Wings ( BWLD) shares continued to soar Monday nearly a week after the wing-and-beer purveyor topped quarterly profit expectations, posted strong sales and reaffirmed its 2011 outlook.

Following Buffalo Wild's stellar earnings report, analysts at Morgan Keenan raised their price target on the restaurant chain by $3 to $58 and reiterated an outperform rating on the stock.

Analyst Destin Tompkins said Buffalo Wild's strong same-store sales -- or sales at stores open at least one year, a key metric in the restaurant industry -- were boosted by the restaurateur's initiatives like the launch of "Happy Hour," gift card sales and successful marketing.

Buffalo Wild shares surged 6.5% Monday to $56.66. The stock continued to trade heavily as it did last week. Nearly 760,000 shares changed hands just over half way through the day's session, compared with their average daily volume of just 351,000.

Buffalo Wild said Tuesday it expected 2011 profits to grow more than 18%, and unit growth to grow 13%.

Same-store sales rose 3.8% at its company-owned stores and 1.5% at its franchised restaurants during the first six weeks of this year.

Buffalo Wild's fourth-quarter profit jumped 22.9% to $10.2 million, or 55 cents per share, beating analysts' consensus call by 3 cents per share. Quarterly revenue grew 13% to $163.9 million.

Ahead of the recent National Football League title game, the Minneapolis-based bar-and-grill chain predicted it would sell 6 million chicken wings as Super Bowl fans watched -- and ate through -- the big game, according to a Bloomberg report. That figure would have represented a 9% increase over last year's game.

"Takeout is huge for us on Super Bowl Sunday, but we're also seeing more dine-in guests," CEO Sally Smith told the news outlet. "We're seeing a bit of an improvement throughout the industry," she added, noting that people have "room in their budget for wings and a beer."

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