Why Habit Restaurants Is One of Thursday’s Big Earnings Winners

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When Habit Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: HABT) released its second-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Wednesday, the restaurant chain said it had $0.08 in earnings per share (EPS) and $102.9 million in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for EPS of $0.03 on $99.7 million in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.06 in EPS and revenue of $83.3 million.

During the quarter, company-operated comparable restaurant sales increased 1.2% from last year. The gain in company-operated comparable restaurant sales was driven primarily by a 4.5% increase in average transaction amount, partially offset by a 3.3% decrease in the number of transactions.

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see total revenues in the range of $393 million to $396 million, with comparable restaurant sales growth of 0.5% to 1.0%. The consensus estimates are $0.02 in EPS and $392.61 million in revenue for the year.

Russ Bendel, president and CEO, commented:

We are pleased with our second quarter results, which included a return to positive same store sales growth. We believe our results reflect progress on our key initiatives laid out earlier this year around convenience, quality and innovation. During the quarter, we opened seven new company-operated Habit Burger Grills of which three were drive-thrus. Our franchisee partners also opened two new restaurants, one in Seattle and a second location in China. This keeps us on track to open approximately 30 new company-operated locations in 2018, including approximately 15 drive-thrus, and seven to nine franchise locations.

Shares of Habit Restaurants were last seen up about 21% at $15.03, with a consensus analyst price target of $12.00 and a 52-week trading range of $8.10 to $15.70.

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