Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) continued to struggle in the first quarter, likely only strengthening the hand of its vocal activist investor Marcato Capital Management.
The wing and beer joint reported Wednesday that first quarter adjusted earnings crashed 19.1% to $1.44 a share, badly missing analyst estimates for $1.69 a share. Same-store sales rose a meager 0.5% at company-owned restaurants, and by 0.6% at franchised locations. The company slashed its full year profit outlook to $5.20 to $5.50 a share from $5.60 to $6.00 a share previously.
Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings fell 3.69% to $156.40 on Thursday.
"While Buffalo Wild Wings' strategy appears compelling on paper, operational missteps continue to drive a lack of confidence in Buffalo Wild Wings' outlook," wrote BMO Capital Markets analyst Andrew Strelzik on Thursday. "Issues seem
to consistently crop up that make it difficult to have confidence in the strategy laid out by management."
The results probably won't do much to satisfy Marcato, either.
Marcato said recently that Buffalo Wild Wings has seen its same-store sales, foot traffic and margins deteriorate, with its comparable store sales growth at its "lowest levels in over a decade." Guest satisfaction has dwindled, too, says the firm. Buffalo Wild Wings was ranked the worst in overall guest experience out of its casual-dining competitors including Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) and Darden Restaurants' (DRI) Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, according to Marcato research.
Updated from April 26 with new details.