Extra week of sports events helps Buffalo Wild Wings beat estimates

Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:16pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Buffalo Wild Wings Inc (BWLD.O) reported third-quarter results that beat analysts' estimates as an extra week of big sporting events enticed more customers to visit its restaurants, sending its shares up 10 percent in extended trading.

Buffalo Wild Wings also reported a strong start to the fourth quarter, a performance in stark contrast to that of other casual dining chains such as Ruby Tuesday Inc (RT.N) and Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N), owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.

Both have been hit as customers curb spending in an uncertain economy.

"(Buffalo Wild Wings) have a product that consumers want right now - beer, wings and sports," Sterne Agee & Leach analyst Lynne Collier said.

An extra week of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Football League (NFL) games in September boosted the company's sales in the quarter, she said.

The company's third quarter ended on September 29, compared with September 23 in 2012.

"Buffalo Wild Wings has developed a brand that has no equal and as a result displays results like no other," B. Riley & Co analyst Conrad Lyon said, noting that the restaurants are popular places to hang out and watch games.

Same-store sales at Buffalo Wild Wings' company-owned restaurants rose 4.8 percent in the third quarter, almost double the 2.7 percent rise analysts polled by Consensus Metrix expected.

The company added that same-store sales rose about 5.3 percent at company-owned restaurants for the first four weeks of the fourth quarter.

Buffalo Wild Wings said revenue jumped 28 percent to $315.8 million for the third quarter. Analysts on average had expected $311.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income rose to $17.9 million, or 95 cents per share, from $10.7 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected 85 cents per share.

Buffalo Wild Wings shares have risen 77 percent this year to Tuesday's close of $129.51 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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