(Corrects forecast period in paragraph one to 2009 from 2008)
* Q4 EPS $0.43 beats est. by 4 cents
* Attractive menus keep customers loyal
* Q4 revenue beats Street
* Says on track to achieve 2009 targets
* Shares up more than 16 pct (Recasts, adds background, updates share movement)
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Restaurant operator Buffalo Wild Wings Inc BWLD.O reported a 29 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating market estimates, and said it was confident of achieving its growth targets for 2009, sending its shares up more than 16 percent.
Even as most U.S. restaurants struggle in a weak U.S. economy, the sports-oriented restaurant chain has managed to keep its patrons loyal by offering meals at attractive prices and by stepping up promotional offers.
Buffalo Wild has also been benefitting from favorable chicken wing prices. Chicken wings made up about a fifth of the company’s costs.
“2009 is off to a great start. To date, our first-quarter same-store sales are among the best in the industry with an 8 percent increase at company-owned restaurants and a 7 percent increase at franchised locations,” Chief Executive Sally Smith said.
Buffalo Wild Wings said it was on track to achieve its 2009 goals of 15 percent unit growth, 25 percent revenue growth, and 20 to 25 percent net earnings growth.
In the latest fourth quarter, the Minneapolis-based operator of Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar restaurants earned $7.7 million, compared with $6.0 million a year earlier.
Buffalo Wild’s company-owned restaurant sales grew 35.7 percent in the quarter, driven by company-owned same-store sales increase of 4.5 percent and 36 more company-owned restaurants in operation at the end of fourth quarter 2008 relative to the same period in 2007.
Shares of the company, which currently operates 567 Buffalo Wild Wings locations across 39 states, were up $3.58 at $25.49 in trading after the bell. They had closed at $21.91 Wednesday on Nasdaq.
For the press release, double-click [ID:nBw116278a] . For the alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB1530]. (Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan, Anil D’Silva)