BJ's Restaurants (BJRI) Prelim. Q4 Sales Top Views; Comps Up 3%

January 10, 2013 9:05 AM EST
BJ's Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: BJRI) announced that Company management will be presenting at the 15th Annual ICR XChange Conference at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, Florida. The Company's presentation is scheduled to begin at approximately 11:55am (Eastern) on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, and will be broadcast live over the Internet. Interested parties may listen to the presentation at the Company's website located at The presentation can be accessed by clicking on the "Investors" link from the Company's home page followed by the "Presentation" link. An archive of the webcast will be available following the live presentation.

The Company also reported preliminary, unaudited revenues of approximately $184.8 million for the 13-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 that ended on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, compared to $171.8 million for last year's 14-week fourth quarter. The additional week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 contributed approximately $13.9 million of incremental sales. Comparable restaurant sales increased approximately 3.0% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, successfully hurdling a 5.1% increase for the same quarter last year (13 weeks versus 13 weeks). As in prior years, final financial results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year of 2012 are currently expected to be released in mid-February 2013 after the completion of the Company's annual independent audit.

*** The Street was looking for Q4 revs of $183.55 million.

"We continue to be pleased with the top-line results from both our comparable restaurants and our newer restaurants, particularly in light of the continuing volatile and choppy environment for retail and restaurant sales in general," said Jerry Deitchle, BJ's Chairman and CEO. "Our sales comparisons were quite choppy during the quarter, especially during the first three weeks of the holiday season. As expected, the uneven and less-predictable sales volumes made it more challenging for our restaurant operators to optimize their bottom-line results. Having said that, there is little to no opportunity to optimize performance without the sales, and at BJ's we continue to be sales builders first and foremost. Our 3.0% comparable sales increase for the fourth quarter just ended represents our 12th consecutive quarter of positive comparisons on that metric."

As previously announced, Gregory A. (Greg) Trojan was appointed President and a Director of the Company effective December 3, 2013, and will succeed Deitchle as CEO effective February 1, 2013. Deitchle will continue as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors. "Greg has been enthusiastically welcomed by the entire BJ's team, and his on-boarding process has been very smooth and productive. We have solid confidence in Greg's ability to continue leading BJ's expansion as a national restaurant company and consumer brand," commented Deitchle. Trojan, Deitchle and Greg Levin, BJ's Executive Vice President and CFO, will represent the Company at the upcoming ICR XChange Conference.

During the fourth quarter and full fiscal year of 2012, the Company successfully opened five and 16 new BJ's restaurants, respectively, including one relocated restaurant. "We continue to remain solidly confident in our ability to deliver high quality, low double-digit capacity growth during both 2013 and 2014, as measured in total restaurant operating weeks," said Deitchle. The Company's new restaurant development pipeline for 2013 currently contemplates the opening of as many as 17 new restaurants, including the relocation of one of our smaller, legacy format BJ's Pizza & Grill locations. "Our new restaurant development pipeline for 2013 is in excellent shape with solid visibility, and our development team is well underway in building a solid pipeline of high quality locations for potential 2014 restaurant openings," said Deitchle. "With only 130 restaurants currently open in 15 states and with estimated room for at least 425 large-format "Brewhouse" restaurants domestically; we believe that the majority of BJ's growth remains well ahead of us." Investors are reminded that the actual number and timing of new restaurant openings are subject to a number of factors outside of the Company's control, including weather conditions and factors under the control of landlords, contractors and regulatory/licensing authorities.

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