Noodles’ stock drops on weak sales outlook

BROOMFIELD – Fast-casual restaurant chain Noodles and Co. saw its stock price dive 16 percent Thursday following an earnings report after the close of markets Wednesday that included a downward adjustment to the outlook for the rest of 2014.

Noodles’ stock price closed at $21.16 Thursday, down $4.05 from Wednesday’s close.

Noodles reported revenue of $99.5 million for its second quarter ending July 1. That was up 11.5 percent from the same period last year, and due largely to the addition of new restaurants. The company opened 16 new restaurants in the quarter, including 12 company-owned and four franchise restaurants.

The increase in revenue, however, was somewhat offset by a decrease in sales at comparable base restaurants. Those sales decreased 0.6 percent for company-owned restaurants and 0.7 percent system-wide.

“We are seeing modest top line momentum and are making the right investments for the business long-term,” Noodles chairman and chief executive said in the earnings report. “However, given results during the first half of the year, we believe it is judicious to temper our 2014 outlook relative to prior expectations.”

Noodles is projecting 45 to 50 new company-owned restaurant openings for this year, with that number currently at 25. The company is projecting flat comparable restaurant sales growth and flat earnings per share growth.

In addition to revenue, Noodles net income also rose in the second quarter. Net income was $3.5 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with $68,000, or less than one cent per share, last year.

“While our second-quarter results fell short of our expectations, we made significant progress with regard to long-term investments in key initiatives, including catering and local relationship marketing,” Reddy said.

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