BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI) released fourth quarter numbers and beat estimates handily. Revenue for the quarter came in at$213.9 million which was a 7% rise when compared to the same period last year. The company also beat the EPS estimate by posting a profit per share of 31 cents. Analysts had expected the company to earn 21 cents. This is also a strong showing compared to the same period a year ago where the company posted an EPS of 6 cents. Comps were strong and helped the company as they were up 1.2% from a year ago. This is a reflection of the restaurants ability to create higher check averages. Check averages rose 1.4% while foot traffic was down .2%. BJ’s was able to counter the slower traffic by maximizing tickets.
Margin levels were reported at 18%. BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI) had incorporated a new cost control program that included project Q initiatives. The program focuses on improving kitchen productivity and enhancing food quality. Cost of sales rose slightly to 25.6%. This was due to rising wholesale food costs. Labor costs came in at 34.7% and were better than the previous quarter. Productivity was enhanced by the project Q program and helped neutralize California’s higher wage rates.
BJ’s opened three new shops in the fourth quarter. BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI) released its new prototype that features a 7,400 square-feet model. The new layout was used in 2 of the new shops. The new model costs $4 million to build but is a savings of about $1 million from the old prototype. The company is planning to open 15 more restaurants in 2015 adding to its current count of 158 shops currently in operation. This is part of their long term goal of having over 450 restaurants operating.
The stock exploded to a new 52-week high and settled in just below that number. The stock is getting a little over-bought but has solid support at $51.10.