Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Reports Results For Third Quarter 2016; Reaffirms Same-Store Sales Guidance And Updates Earnings Guidance

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLKI), the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, today reported results for its fiscal third quarter of 2016, which ended October 2, 2016. The Company also reaffirmed same-store sales guidance and updated earnings guidance for fiscal 2016.

"We are pleased to report strong progress for the quarter" said Cheryl Bachelder, Popeyes Chief Executive Officer. "We generated global same store sales of 1.8%, opened 25 net new global restaurants and announced the refranchising of the Indianapolis company-operated market. We continue to expand our brand which has led to the achievement of another record high market share of 26.9%. We are firmly on the path of achieving our long term bold growth goals and we are creating value for our franchisees and shareholders."

Third Quarter 2016 Highlights
  • Total revenues increased 4.7% to $64.0 million, compared to $61.1 million in the third quarter of 2015. The $2.9 million increase in revenues was primarily due to a $2.6 million increase in franchise royalties, a $0.7 million increase in sales by Company-operated restaurants partially offset by a $0.4 million decrease in franchise fees. The increase in franchise royalties was driven by net unit growth and positive same store sales.
  • Reported net income was $10.4 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to $10.6 million, or $0.46 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2015. Reported net income includes $3.7 million of asset impairment expenses related to Company-operated restaurants and restaurants leased to franchisees. Excluding the impacts of the asset impairments and other non-operating items, adjusted earnings per diluted share (1) was $0.59 in the third quarter of 2016 compared to $0.47 in the third quarter of 2015, representing an increase of 25.5%.
  • Total system-wide sales increased by 8.3% in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year as a result of net new unit growth and positive same-store sales performance.
  • Global same-store sales increased 1.8% in the third quarter of 2016 compared to a 6.0% increase in the third quarter of 2015, marking the 26th quarter of positive global same-store sales.
  • Total domestic same-store sales increased 1.5%, compared to a 5.6% increase in the third quarter of 2015. Popeyes increased its domestic market share of the chicken-QSR category to a record high 26.9%, compared to 26.0% in the third quarter of 2015.
  • International same-store sales increased 3.7%, compared to a 9.1% increase in the third quarter of 2015, marking the 27 th consecutive quarter of positive international same-store sales growth.
  • The Popeyes system opened 40 restaurants, which included 24 domestic and 16 international restaurants, compared to 47 total openings in the same period of last year. Net new restaurant openings were 25, compared to 39 net new restaurant openings in the same period last year.
  • As of the end of the third quarter, the Company operated and franchised 2,631 restaurants, compared to 2,475 at the end of the third quarter in 2015, representing net new unit growth of 6.3% over the last twelve months.
  • Sales by Company-operated restaurants were $26.1 million in the third quarter compared to $25.4 million in the same period last year. Company-operated restaurant operating profit (1) was $5.0 million, or 19.2% of sales, compared to $4.9 million, or 19.3% of sales, in the same period last year. The increase in Company-operated restaurant operating profit was primarily due to higher sales and lower chicken and grocery basket costs partially offset by higher labor costs.
  • Operating EBITDA (1) was $23.8 million, or 37.2% of total revenue, in the third quarter of 2016, compared to $20.3 million, or 33.2% of total revenue, in the same period last year. The $3.5 million increase in Operating EBITDA was primarily due to a $2.2 million increase in franchise royalties and fees, a $1.2 million decrease in general and administrative expenses, and a $0.1 million increase in Company-operated restaurant operating profit.
  • Through the first 40 weeks of fiscal 2016, free cash flow (1) was $43.0 million, compared to $37.0 million in the same period of 2015, a 16.2% increase.
  • The Company repurchased 537,957 shares of its common stock for $30.0 million in the third quarter.

(1) Adjusted earnings per diluted share, operating EBITDA, Company-operated restaurant operating profit, and free cash flow are supplemental non-GAAP measures of performance. See the heading entitled "Management's Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures."

Fiscal 2016 Guidance:

Based on performance through the third quarter, the Company is making the following adjustments to guidance for the full-year fiscal 2016:
  • Reported earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.00 to $2.05, compared to the previous guidance of $2.10 to $2.15. Excluding the impacts of asset impairments and other non-operating items, the Company maintains its adjusted earnings per diluted share range of $2.10 to $2.15, and now guides to the lower end of the adjusted earnings per share range.
  • General and administrative expenses in the range of $90 million to $92 million, approximately 2.8% of system-wide sales, compared to a previous range of 2.9% to 3.0% of system-wide sales.
  • Capital expenditures to be in the range of $15 million to $17 million from a previous range of $10 million to $15 million.
  • Share repurchases of approximately $100 million in outstanding shares from a previous range of $80 million to $120 million.

See the below table for current guidance:
           
Prior Guidance Current Guidance
Full Year 2016 (08/16/2016) (11/09/2016)
Reported Diluted EPS - GAAP $2.10 to $2.15 $2.00 to $2.05
Adjusted Diluted EPS - Non-GAAP $2.10 to $2.15

Lower end of range of $2.10 to $2.15
Same store sales growth 1.0% to 2.0% 1.0% to 2.0%
New global restaurant openings 200 to 235 200 to 235
International openings 85 to 100 85 to 100
Company-operated restaurant openings 2 2
Net new global restaurant openings 140 to 185; net new unit growth of approximately 6% to 7% 140 to 185; net new unit growth of approximately 6% to 7%
General and administrative expenses 2.9% to 3.0% of system-wide sales $90 to 92 million; approximately 2.8% of system-wide sales
Capital expenditures $10 to $15 million $15 to $17 million
Share repurchases $80 to $120 million approximately $100 million
Effective income tax rate approximately 38% approximately 38%
 

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call and Internet webcast at 9:00 A.M. ET on November 10, 2016, to review third quarter 2016 results. A live listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available on the Popeyes website at www.popeyes.com/investors. The conference call can also be accessed live over the phone by dialing (855) 427-4392 or for international callers by dialing (484) 756-4257. A replay will be available after the call and can be accessed by dialing (855) 859-2056, or for international callers by dialing (404) 537-3406; the conference ID is 84538166. The replay will be available until Thursday, November 24, 2016. A replay of the conference call will also be available for 90 days at the Company's website.

Corporate Profile

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, the world's second-largest Quick- Service Restaurant ("QSR") chicken concept based on number of units. As of October 2, 2016, Popeyes had 2,631 operating restaurants in the United States, the District of Columbia, three territories, and 26 foreign countries. The Company's primary objective is to deliver sales and profits by offering excellent investment opportunities in its Popeyes brand and providing exceptional franchisee support systems and services to its owners. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. can be found at www.popeyes.com.
 

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (unaudited)

(In millions, except share and per share data)
 
        10/2/2016       12/27/2015

Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 6.6 $ 9.1
Accounts and current notes receivable, net 9.7 9.2
Other current assets 4.6 8.5
Advertising cooperative assets, restricted 33.4   35.4  
Total current assets 54.3   62.2  
Long-term assets:
Property and equipment, net 94.4 97.7
Goodwill 11.1 11.1
Trademarks and other intangible assets, net 93.8 94.2
Other long-term assets, net 0.8   0.8  
Total long-term assets 200.1   203.8  
Total assets $ 254.4   $ 266.0  
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 5.0 $ 6.7
Other current liabilities 10.7 13.1
Current debt maturities 0.5 0.3
Advertising cooperative liabilities 33.4   35.4  
Total current liabilities 49.6   55.5  
Long-term liabilities:
Long-term debt 155.9 111.6
Deferred credits and other long-term liabilities 41.0   39.3  
Total long-term liabilities 196.9   150.9  
Commitments and contingencies
Shareholders' equity:
Preferred stock ($.01 par value; 2,500,000 shares authorized; 0 shares issued and outstanding)
Common stock ($.01 par value; 150,000,000 shares authorized; 20,916,903 and 22,449,697 shares issued and outstanding at October 2, 2016 and December 27, 2015, respectively) 0.2 0.2
Capital in excess of par value
Accumulated earnings 8.1 59.6
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (0.4 ) (0.2 )
Total shareholders' equity 7.9   59.6  
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 254.4   $ 266.0  
 
 

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (unaudited)

(In millions, except per share data)
 
        12 Weeks Ended       40 Weeks Ended
10/2/2016       10/4/2015 10/2/2016       10/4/2015
Revenues:
Sales by Company-operated restaurants $ 26.1 $ 25.4 $ 85.9 $ 85.2
Franchise royalties and fees 36.7 34.5 117.7 110.6
Rent from franchised restaurants 1.2   1.2   4.3   4.2  
Total revenues 64.0   61.1   207.9   200.0  
Expenses:
Restaurant food, beverages and packaging 8.2 8.2 27.1 27.6
Restaurant employee, occupancy and other expenses 12.9 12.3 42.1 40.3
General and administrative expenses 18.4 19.6 67.9 63.9
Occupancy expenses - franchise restaurants 0.7 0.7 2.2 2.3
Depreciation and amortization 2.4 2.3 7.7 7.5
Other expenses (income), net 3.7   0.1   3.6   (0.1 )
Total expenses 46.3   43.2   150.6   141.5  
Operating profit 17.7 17.9 57.3 58.5
Interest expense, net 1.1   0.9   3.4   2.8  
Income before income taxes 16.6 17.0 53.9 55.7
Income tax expense 6.2     6.4     20.3     21.2  
Net income $ 10.4     $ 10.6     $ 33.6     $ 34.5  
 
Earnings per common share, basic: $ 0.50     $ 0.47     $ 1.56     $ 1.51  
Earnings per common share, diluted: $ 0.49   $ 0.46   $ 1.54   $ 1.49  
 
Weighted-average shares outstanding:
Basic 21.0 22.6 21.6 22.8
Diluted 21.2 22.8 21.8 23.1
 
 

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (unaudited)

(In millions)
 
        40 Weeks Ended
10/2/2016       10/4/2015
Cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities:
Net income $ 33.6 $ 34.5
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 7.7 7.5
Asset impairments 3.7
Net (gain) loss on sale and disposal of assets (0.1 ) (0.1 )
Deferred income taxes (2.0 ) 1.9
Non-cash interest expense, net 0.3 0.4
Provision for credit losses 0.1
Excess tax benefits from stock-based payment arrangements (1.0 ) (6.8 )
Stock-based compensation expense 5.9 5.1
Change in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable (0.4 ) (0.2 )
Other operating assets 4.9 8.8
Accounts payable and other operating liabilities (1.2 ) (3.0 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 51.4   48.2  
Cash flows provided by (used in) investing activities:
Capital expenditures (8.4 ) (11.2 )
Proceeds from dispositions of property and equipment 0.2   0.1  
Net cash used in investing activities (8.2 ) (11.1 )
Cash flows provided by (used in) financing activities:
Principal payments — 2013 credit facility (109.0 )
Borrowings under 2016 credit facility 153.5
Share repurchases (90.0 ) (45.0 )
Proceeds from exercise of employee stock options 0.4 1.0
Excess tax benefits from stock-based payment arrangements 1.0 6.8
Debt issuance costs (1.1 )
Other financing activities, net (0.5 ) (0.4 )
Net cash used in financing activities (45.7 ) (37.6 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents (2.5 ) (0.5 )
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year 9.1   8.4  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of quarter $ 6.6   $ 7.9  
 
 

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

Same-store sales and restaurant count
 
        12 Weeks Ended       40 Weeks Ended
10/2/2016       10/4/2015   10/2/2016       10/4/2015

Same-store sales increase
 
Company-operated restaurants (2.0 )% (1.0 )% (2.9 )% 0.6 %
Domestic franchised restaurants 1.7 % 5.9 % 1.1 % 7.2 %
Total domestic (Company-operated and franchised restaurants) 1.5 % 5.6 % 0.9 % 6.9 %
International franchised restaurants 3.7 % 9.1 % 5.4 % 6.5 %
Total global system 1.8 % 6.0 % 1.4 % 6.8 %
 

Company-operated restaurants (all domestic)
Restaurants at beginning of period 71 67 70 65
New restaurant openings 1   1   2   3  
Restaurants at end of quarter 72   68   72   68  
 

Franchised restaurants (domestic)
Restaurants at beginning of period 1,934 1,842 1,900 1,805
New restaurant openings 23 23 64 68
Permanent closings (3 ) (2 ) (9 ) (13 )
Temporary (closings)/re-openings, net 10   (6 ) 9   (3 )
Restaurants at end of quarter 1,964   1,857   1,964   1,857  
 

Franchised restaurants (international)
Restaurants at beginning of period 589 534 569 509
New restaurant openings 16 23 61 66
Permanent closings (12 ) (6 ) (32 ) (19 )
Temporary (closings)/re-openings, net 2   (1 ) (3 ) (6 )
Restaurants at end of quarter 595   550   595   550  
 
Total restaurant count at end of quarter 2,631   2,475   2,631   2,475  
 

Management's Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Adjusted earnings per diluted share, operating EBITDA, Company-operated restaurant operating profit and free cash flow are supplemental non-GAAP financial measures. The Company uses adjusted earnings per diluted share, operating EBITDA, Company-operated restaurant operating profit and free cash flow, in addition to earnings per share, net income, operating profit and cash flows from operating activities to assess its performance and believes it is important for investors to be able to evaluate the Company using the same measures used by management. The Company believes these measures are important indicators of its operational strength and the performance of its business. Adjusted earnings per diluted share, operating EBITDA, Company-operated restaurant operating profit and free cash flow as calculated by the Company are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. In addition, adjusted earnings per diluted share, operating EBITDA, Company-operated restaurant operating profit and free cash flow: (a) do not represent earnings per share, net income, operating profit or cash flows from operating activities defined by GAAP; (b) are not necessarily indicative of cash available to fund cash flow needs; and (c) should not be considered as an alternative to earnings per share, net income, operating profit, cash flows from operating activities or other financial information determined under GAAP.

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