April 28, 2010 / 12:10 AM / in 9 years

WRAPUP 1-Buffalo Wild Wings shares fall

* Buffalo Wild Wings April same stores sales decline

* Panera Q2 EPS view below Street view

* Buffalo Wild Wings shares off 21 pct, Panera down 4 pct

By Lisa Baertlein

LOS ANGELES, April 27 (Reuters) - Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc BWLD.O fell almost 21 percent after the restaurant chain reported a decline in April same-store sales.

Panera Bread Co’s PNRA.O second-quarter profit forecast was weaker than Wall Street expected and investors sliced 3.5 percent off the value of the bakery and cafe chain’s shares.

The two chains, which reported after the market close on Tuesday, outperformed many of their peers during the recession and had the stock gains to show for it.

When the closing bell rang on Tuesday, Buffalo Wild Wings and Panera had year-to-date share gains of nearly 27 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant-bar chain known for its chicken wings, saw its stock give back much of that gain after it said same-store sales at company-owned restaurants fell 3.7 percent and 2.4 percent at franchised locations for April. [ID:nSGE63P0QU]

Executives said some stores open in 2008 have failed to live up to expectations and are now being factored in to the company’s same-store sales. Same-restaurant alcohol sales also were down.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brad Ludington said the fall in April sales was unexpected and could signal that the company might not hit its 2010 earnings target.

Chief Executive Sally Smith said: “While we believe that our previously announced net earnings growth goal for 2010 of 20 percent may be achievable, improvement in same-store sales and moderate wing costs are key to meeting this goal.”

Smith said the company had identified about a dozen restaurants that were not meeting sales expectations and that those locations would get the attention they needed going forward.

Just last week Panera raised its first-quarter and 2010 profit forecasts, due in part to better-than-expected sales at established company restaurants. [ID:nN20254798]

On Tuesday the company reported a 10 percent rise in sales at established company-owned restaurants during the first quarter and repeated its 2010 earnings forecast on Tuesday.

It also forecast second quarter earnings of 81 cents to 83 cents per share — below analysts call for a profit of 84 cents a share — on same-restaurant sales rising a less brisk 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent at company-operated stores.

Barclays Capital analyst Jeffrey Bernstein called the company’s report “very impressive” but said he continued to question the sustainability of the company’s market-leading results, particularly amid signs that business in April was slowing from March levels. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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