Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) 2Q Earnings Plagued by Rising Chicken Wing Prices

As second quarter earnings of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) missed the mark, company shares plunged nearly $14 since mid-Wednesday from $122 to below $110. Sparked by low hatch rates and growing demands, prices are up 24% year over year standing at $2.13 per pound, the company continues to be plagued by rising chicken wing prices.

In an effort to ease up pressure on the margins, the casual chicken food chain is ceasing its popular Half-Priced Wing Tuesday and reducing the number of wings per order. Another blow for Buffalo Wild Wings that led investors to run for the hills is a disappointing reduction of third-quarter guidance, where management slashed earnings per share by nearly a dollar from $5.45 to $5.90 down to $4.50 to $5.00, sharply shortcoming Street expectations of $5.31.

In light of the ongoing troubles at BWLD, analyst Lynne Collier of Canaccord remains sidelined, maintaining a Hold rating on the stock, while lowering the price target from $135 to $120, indicating a 10% rise from current trading levels. (To view Collier’s track record, click here.)

On back of the rocky quarterly print, Collier is chopping her adjusted EPS forecast from $5.10 to $4.54 while reigning in her EPS expectations from $6.20 to $5.31, which would indicate 17% year-over-year growth. The analyst cites a number of additional factors that are causing the company to stumble. “The margin decline was driven by the company’s half price wing Tuesday promotion, along with negative sales leverage and higher than expected wing costs […] The Easter shift (40 bps) and fewer NBA games adversely impacted sales,” opines Collier.

On a positive note, however, the company is turning to several moves with hopes of creating a turnaround. Collier highlights, “BWLD is progressing with delivery with 230 company locations, up from 180 last quarter. Management believes 90% of sales are incremental from third-party providers. The company plans to add delivery functionality to its mobile app later this year. BWLD is also piloting beer delivery in its Ohio and Wisconsin markets.”

TipRanks analytics reveal BWLD as a Buy. Out of 17 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 6 are bullish and 11 are neutral on Buffalo Wild Wings stock. With a potential near 35% upside, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $148.14.

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