BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) shares were down in after-hours trading Thursday after the Huntington Beach-based casual dining chain delivered disappointing results for the first quarter.
BJ’s revenue for the first quarter fell 12.4% to $254.6 million. Analysts on average expected revenue of $265.5 million.
The company reported a loss of $4.3 million in the quarter, compared with $12.9 million in profit in the year-ago period. Consensus estimates originally forecasted a profit of $1.1 million.
Despite missing analyst expectations on earnings and revenue, the company managed to stem the declines in same-store sales and reiterated longer term growth plans.
Same-store sales for the week ended May 5 were off 67.6%. The company’s sales declines peaked in late March when comparable sales fell 81.7% for the week ended March 24.
Shares traded down about 4% in after-hours trading Thursday to a market cap of $374 million.
BJ’s, which this week closed on a $70 million raise from Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich’s Act III Holdings LLC, has slowly begun to open the doors to some of its restaurants as states throughout the country lift their respective stay-at-home orders. BJ’s said 55 of its 205 restaurants now have dining rooms open to limited capacity to observe social distancing protocols. Another 14 restaurants in Indiana, Arizona and Arkansas are set to see their dining rooms opened next week.
Future growth was reiterated by the company. However, in the near term, plans to open as many as 10 restaurants this year have been canceled or delayed.
Long-term plans to grow the chain out nationally to at least 425 doors are still on the table, CEO Greg Trojan said in a statement.
“The current environment has not changed our view of the long-term growth potential for BJ’s,” Trojan said. “While we manage through these challenging times with all other restaurant concepts, we are as optimistic as ever that BJ’s will continue to grow and expand our market share.”
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