Why Noodles & Co. Stock Plummeted Today

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What: Shares of Noodles & Company were down 28% as of noon EST Friday after the restaurant chain announced weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 18.7% year over year to $108.5 million, driven by 59 net new restaurants that opened during the year and a modest 1.3% increase in comparable-restaurant sales. That translated to 9.2% growth in adjusted net income to $3.9 million, or $0.13 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for adjusted earnings of $0.14 per share on sales of $110.1 million.

For 2015, Noodles & Company expects 12% to 14% restaurant unit growth, 2.5% to 4% growth in comparable-restaurant sales and, 20% growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share. Based on its full-year 2014 earnings of $0.38 per diluted share, this means the company anticipates 2015 earnings just shy of $0.46 per share, or well below Wall Street's consensus of $0.51 per share.

Now what: While Noodle & Company's miss doesn't seem allthatbad on the surface, shares are still trading for a premium at over 50 and 30 times trailing 12-month and expected 2015 earnings, respectively. Assuming this year's expectations are bound to come down once analysts have time to fully digest the news, it's hard to blame the market for bidding the stock down so ferociously today.

The article Why Noodles & Co. Stock Plummeted Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.