Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD) fell 15.2% in July 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The operator and franchisor of the chain of family friendly sports bars was already walking uphill as it prepared to release second-quarter results on July 26, trading down 3% due to widespread signs of trouble in the casual dining sector. The report itself didn't help matters as B-dubs delivered earnings of $0.66 on an even $500 million in top-line sales but analysts had been looking for $1.05 per share and $513 million, respectively. The stock closed the next day another 10.2% lower.
These are difficult times for Buffalo Wild Wings and its sector peers.
In the words of B-dubs CEO Sally Smith, the low earnings were caused by "a decline over prior year, driven by negative same-store sales, increased wing prices and a mix shift toward our value offerings."
In other words, fewer people are showing up at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, those who do make that trek are likely to pick lower-priced menu items, and ingredient prices are rising at the same time. That's a difficult triple whammy.
The company is fighting these difficult trends by improving B-dubs' mobile ordering apps, simplifying the takeout experience, and running highly targeted discount events. Smith is on her way out after 21 years in the corner office, under heavy pressure from activist investors.
For the first time in years, I'm not even curious about buying Buffalo Wild Wings. The company needs to sort out its management/activist tension while also dealing with a brutal market environment. There are no easy answers, and the stock could very well continue to fall from here.
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