Wingstop Shares Up 12% After Earnings Beat

By Claudia AssisMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Wingstop Inc. rose more than 12% late Thursday after the restaurant chain reported earnings and sales above expectations despite rising prices of chicken wings, its main fare. Wingstop said it earned $6.5 million, or 22 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared to $4.3 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 20% to $26.6 million, from $22.1 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report earnings of 16 cents a share on sales of $24.2 million. Cost of sales increased to $6.6 million, from $6.1 million, mainly due to an 11% increase in commodity rates for bone-in chicken wings, as compared to the prior-year period, as well as an increase in wage rates and labor costs due to the investments in "roster sizes and staffing" the company made in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, Wingstop said in a statement. The shares ended the regular trading day down 0.6%.

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