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Financial Overview - March 2018


Chuy's Holdings, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Results March 12, 2018--(HotelNewsResource) Chuy’s Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHUY) last week announced financial results for the 14-week and 53-week periods ended December 31, 2017. Highlights for the 14-week fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017, compared to the 13-week fourth quarter ended December 25, 2016 were as follows:

  1. Revenue increased 21.5% to $96.0 million from $79.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The extra operating week in fiscal 2017 contributed approximately $7.3 million in revenue.

  2. Comparable restaurant sales increased 1.3% as compared to the same period in 2016 (13 weeks vs. 13 weeks).

  3. GAAP net income was $15.9 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $2.3 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter 2017 results included a gain on insurance settlements of $1.4 million pre-tax and fourth quarter 2016 results included closure costs of $1.1 million pre-tax related to one closed restaurant.

  4. R.1, commonly referred to as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("Tax Act"), positively impacted GAAP net income by $11.7 million or $0.69 per diluted share for the revaluation of our net deferred tax balance.

  5. Adjusted net income(1) increased 2.0% to $3.2 million, or $0.19 per diluted share compared to $3.1 million, or $0.18 per diluted share in the same period in 2016. Fourth quarter 2017 adjusted net income was negatively impacted by approximately $0.01 per diluted share as a result of the temporary closure of one restaurant due to damage from Hurricane Harvey.

  6. Restaurant-level operating profit(1) increased to $15.2 million or 15.0% from $13.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  7. Four new restaurants opened during the fourth quarter of 2017. Additionally, we reopened a restaurant temporarily closed due to Hurricane Harvey.Highlights for the 53-week fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, compared to the 52-week fiscal year ended December 25, 2016 were as follows:

  8. Revenue increased 11.8% to $369.6 million from $330.6 million in the 2016 fiscal year. The extra operating week in fiscal 2017 contributed approximately $7.3 million in revenue.

  9. Comparable restaurant sales decreased 0.7% as compared to the same period in 2016 (52 weeks vs. 52 weeks).

  10. GAAP net income was $29.0 million, or $1.70 per diluted share, compared to $17.2 million, or $1.02 per diluted share during the fiscal year 2016. Fiscal year 2017 results included a gain on insurance settlements of $1.4 million pre-tax and fiscal year 2016 results included closure costs of $1.5 million pre-tax related to one closed restaurant.

  11. The Tax Act positively impacted GAAP net income by $11.7 million or $0.69 per diluted share for the revaluation of our net deferred tax balance.

  12. Adjusted net income(1) decreased to $16.3 million, or $0.96 per diluted share compared to $18.3 million, or $1.08 per diluted share during the fiscal year 2016. Fiscal year 2017 adjusted net income was negatively impacted by approximately $0.04 per diluted share as a result of the temporary closure of one restaurant due to damage from Hurricane Harvey.

  13. Restaurant-level operating profit(1) increased to $64.6 million or 1.2% from $63.8 million during the 2016 fiscal year.

  14. A total of eleven new restaurants opened during 2017. (1) Adjusted net income and restaurant-level operating profit are non-GAAP measures. For reconciliations of adjusted net income and restaurant-level operating profit to the most directly comparable GAAP measure see the accompanying financial tables. For a discussion of why we consider them useful, see “Non-GAAP Measures” below. Steve Hislop, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chuy’s Holdings, Inc. commented, “Our fourth quarter results were highlighted by double-digit growth in revenue and a return to positive comparable restaurant sales. Our focus remains on taking care of our customers by offering exceptional service standards and delivering high-quality, made-from-scratch food and drinks in a unique and upbeat atmosphere." Hislop added, “We successfully opened 11 restaurants in 2017, increasing our store base by 14%, and we remained excited with the long-term growth prospect of the Chuy’s brand. We expect to open 8 to 12 new restaurants during 2018 with a blend of new and existing markets. With a healthy development pipeline, a renewed focus in marketing to increase brand awareness and our value messaging, and labor initiatives to improve our labor management in the face of rising labor costs, we look forward to a productive year.” Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Results Revenue increased 21.5% to $96.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $79.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Company's fourth quarter of 2017 included 14 weeks compared 13 weeks in fiscal year 2016. Revenue attributed to the extra operating week was $7.3 million. In addition to the extra operating week, the increase in revenue was primarily driven by $22.0 million in incremental revenue from an additional 276 operating weeks provided by 14 new restaurants opened during and subsequent to the fourth quarter of 2016. This increase was partially offset by a $0.7 million decrease in revenue related to a temporary closure of one restaurant as a result of Hurricane Harvey and our non-comparable restaurants that are not included in the incremental revenue discussed above. Revenue for these non-comparable restaurants is historically lower as the restaurants transition out of the 'honeymoon' period that follows a restaurant's initial opening. Comparable restaurant sales increased 1.3% during the 13-week comparable period ended December 24, 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. The increase in comparable sales was driven by a 1.6% increase in average check, partially offset by a 0.3% decrease in average weekly customer. Comparable restaurant sales were positively impacted by about 100 basis points as a result of an extra operating day in fiscal 2017 due to the Company’s restaurant closing schedule on Christmas Day in fiscal year 2016. This positive impact was partially offset by unfavorable weather conditions and sporting events of approximately 40 basis points and strategic cannibalization of 45 basis points from two Austin restaurants. The comparable restaurant base consisted of 70 restaurants during the fourth quarter of 2017. Total restaurant operating costs as a percentage of revenue increased to 84.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 83.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016. This increase was primarily driven by higher labor costs as a percentage of revenue due to new store labor inefficiencies related to two additional store openings in the current quarter as compared to last year, hourly labor rate inflation and higher commodity and insurance costs. The overall increase was partially offset by increased operating leverage due to an extra week and an hourly health plan accrual adjustment. GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased to $15.9 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $2.3 million, or $0.14 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2016. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 included approximately $0.07 per diluted share from the extra operating week. During the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company recorded a non-recurring favorable deferred tax balance revaluation adjustment of $11.7 million and a $1.4 million gain on insurance settlements mainly related to Hurricane Harvey. During the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company incurred closure costs of $1.1 million pre-tax related to the closing of one restaurant. Adjusted net income increased 2.0% to $3.2 million, or $0.19 per diluted share compared to $3.1 million, or $0.18 per diluted share in the same period in 2016. Please see the reconciliation from GAAP net income to adjusted net income in the accompanying financial tables. Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Results Revenue increased 11.8% to $369.6 million in fiscal 2017 compared to $330.6 million in fiscal 2016. The Company's fiscal year 2017 included 53 weeks compared 52 weeks in fiscal year 2016. Revenue attributed to the extra operating week was $7.3 million. In addition to the extra operating week, the increase in revenue was primarily driven by $44.6 million in incremental revenue from an additional 567 operating weeks provided by 23 new restaurants opened during and subsequent to fiscal year 2016. This increase was partially offset by a decrease in our comparable sales, a $1.9 million decrease during the second half of the fiscal year as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as well as revenue from our non-comparable restaurants that are not included in the incremental revenue discussed above. Revenue related to non-comparable restaurants is historically lower as the stores transition out of the 'honeymoon' period that follows a restaurant's initial opening. The honeymoon period refers to the weeks following a restaurant's initial opening, during which sales are typically higher than normal. Comparable restaurant sales decreased 0.7% during the year for the 52-week comparable period ended December 24, 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. This decrease in comparable restaurant sales was primarily driven by a 2.3% decrease in average weekly customer, partially offset by a 1.6% increase in average weekly check. Comparable restaurant sales were negatively impacted by unfavorable weather conditions and sporting events of approximately 40 basis points and strategic cannibalization of approximately 40 basis points from two Austin restaurants. This decrease was partially offset by about 20 basis points as a result of an extra operating day in fiscal 2017 due to the Company’s restaurant closing schedule on Christmas Day in fiscal year 2016. Total restaurant operating costs as a percentage of revenue increased to 82.4% in fiscal 2017 from 80.7% in fiscal 2016. This increase was primarily driven by higher labor costs as a percentage of revenue due to new store labor inefficiencies driven by delayed openings, hourly labor rate inflation, higher food costs, higher insurance and higher utilities costs. This overall increase is partially offset by an hourly health plan accrual adjustment and increased operating leverage due to an extra week. GAAP net income in fiscal 2017 increased to $29.0 million, or $1.70 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $17.2 million, or $1.02 per diluted share in fiscal 2016. GAAP net income for fiscal 2017 included approximately $0.07 per diluted share from the extra operating week. During fiscal 2017, the Company recorded a non-recurring favorable deferred tax balance revaluation adjustment of $11.7 million and a $1.4 million gain on insurance settlements mainly related to Hurricane Harvey. During fiscal 2016, the Company incurred closure costs of $1.5 million pre-tax related to the closing of one restaurant. Adjusted net income decreased to $16.3 million, or $0.96 per diluted share compared to $18.3 million, or $1.08 per diluted share in the same period in 2016. Please see the reconciliation from GAAP net income to adjusted net income in the accompanying financial tables. About Chuy’s Founded in Austin, Texas in 1982, Chuy's owns and operates 91 full-service restaurants across 19 states serving a distinct menu of authentic, made from scratch Tex-Mex inspired dishes.


Diversified Restaurant Holdings Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 ResultsRevenue for the quarter totaled $41.9 million, up 2.8%, and totaled $165.5 million for the year - Same-store sales declined 6.8% in the fourth quarter and were down 3.7% for the year - Operating income of $1.8 million in the quarter, more than double the prior-year period, and totaled $5.2 million for the year March 12, 2018--(HotelNewsResource) Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAUC), one of the largest franchisees for Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) with 65 stores across five states, last week announced results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Fourth Quarter and Full Year Key Information (from continuing operations)

  1. Revenue for the quarter totaled $41.9 million, up 2.8%, and totaled $165.5 million for the year

  2. Same-store sales declined 6.8% in the fourth quarter and were down 3.7% for the year

  3. Operating income of $1.8 million in the quarter, more than double the prior-year period, and totaled $5.2 million for the year

  4. Restaurant-level EBITDA(1)margin was 17.1% for both the quarter and full year

  5. Adjusted EBITDA(1)was $4.9 million for the quarter and $19.9 million for the year

  6. Net loss was $20.2 million in the quarter and $20.3 million for the year after a $19.0 million write-down of deferred tax assets

  7. Total debt was down $7.3 million to $113.9 million at year-end Fourth quarter sales increased $1.1 million due to an additional restaurant and the 53rd week in 2017 compared with only 52 weeks in 2016. Same store sales were down 6.8% for the quarter. For the full year, the $1.1 million decline in revenue was impacted by $0.6 million of lost sales related to Hurricane Irma, $0.4 million revenue deferral related to the Blazin' Rewards loyalty program, an unfavorable number of major sporting events in the Company’s core markets and negative overall traffic, largely offset by the addition of the 53rd week. Same store sales were down 3.7% for the year. The Company revalued its deferred tax assets after enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act during the fourth quarter of 2017 using the 21% federal statutory income tax rate and re-evaluated its ability to realize these benefits. As a result, a one-time tax expense of $19.0 million was recorded. David G. Burke, President and CEO, commented, "I'm pleased with the margins that our restaurant teams delivered despite major headwinds not only from sales but also cost of sales due to record high fresh, bone-in chicken wing costs well into the fourth quarter. We also managed significant reductions in our G&A costs and are implementing on-going changes to our structure to improve our focus on sales-driving initiatives." Mr. Burke added, "While recent sales trends were negatively impacted by a major strategic shift in the franchisor media strategy during our most critical sports season, we recognize that our management structure and incentives must be increasingly focused on enhancing sales within the communities that we operate." "With the acquisition of BWW now complete, we're excited about the changes that are coming for the system, and optimistic that the powerful Buffalo Wild Wings brand will emerge fresher and stronger while returning to its leading-edge position in its markets."

DRH is enthusiastic about the recent acquisition of BWW and the expected impact of new initiatives and a fresh look at the brand. However, due to the unknown timing of any impact, it has elected to not provide specific financial guidance for 2018. About Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. is one of the largest franchisees for Buffalo Wild Wings with 65 franchised restaurants in key markets in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Missouri. DRH’s strategy is to generate cash, reduce debt and leverage its strong franchise operating capabilities for future growth.


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Craft Brew Alliance Reports Record Performance in 2017 and Expects Continued Imporvements in 20182017 delivered against CBA’s long-term strategy to strengthen the topline and improve core business health, led by 10% depletions growth for Kona, record gross margin expansion, and robust EPS gains March 8, 2018--(HotelNewsResource) Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq:BREW), a leading craft brewing company, today announced final financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 in line with preliminary results reported Feb. 1, 2018. CBA’s strong full-year results reflect significant and anticipated progress against our long-term strategy to strengthen our topline and improve the core health of our business. Highlights from the year include continued double-digit depletion growth for Kona amidst unprecedented market dynamics that challenged our industry, record gross margin expansion driven by net revenue per barrel growth and ongoing operational improvements, and robust GAAP earnings per diluted share (“EPS”) performance of $0.49. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS was $0.14, excluding the effect of a favorable one-time, non-cash tax benefit of $0.35 per share related to 2017 U.S. tax reform. Delivering 10% growth for Kona in 2017 CBA maintained double-digit growth for Kona in 2017, delivering a 10% increase in Kona depletions, which includes 23% depletions growth for Kona flagship Big Wave Golden Ale and 45% shipment growth for Kona internationally. Hanalei Island IPA, which Kona debuted nationally in 2017, ended the year in the top five of all new craft brands in the U.S. as measured in grocery sales by Nielsen. For the first eight weeks of 2018, Kona depletions have increased 10% over the same period in 2017. Driving incremental value through AB partnership We achieved several strategic objectives as part of our enhanced agreements with Anheuser-Busch (“AB”) in 2017, including aligning our brands in AB’s wholesaler planning processes, starting up brewing operations in AB’s Fort Collins brewery to drive incremental cost savings, and continuing to seed Kona’s international expansion in a deliberate and thoughtful way. Achieving record improvement in core business fundamentals CBA delivered net sales growth of 2%, gross profit improvement of 9%, and record gross margin of 31.5%, including beer gross margin of 35.3%, in 2017. These improvements were achieved while simultaneously shutting down brewing operations in Memphis and Woodinville, starting up brewing operations in Fort Collins, and reducing wholesaler inventories by 10 days, which impacted shipment growth. The inventory reduction effort represented approximately 25,000 barrels, which equates to 3% of shipments. In 2018, we will continue to leverage our headway in cost reduction and operating efficiencies to reinvest in our sales and marketing infrastructure. Select financial results for the full year 2017:

  1. Depletions decreased 1% compared to 2016, in line with updated guidance.

  2. Kona depletions grew 10%, which includes strong 5% growth in its home market of Hawaii.

  3. Through ongoing efforts to focus and strengthen our regional brands in their home markets, Widmer Brothers grew share in Oregon despite depletions being down 7%, and our partner brands each grew share in their respective markets. Over the prior year, our partner brands, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, and Wynwood Brewing grew depletions 41%.

  4. While Omission depletions decreased by 2% compared to 2016, the launch of Omission Ultimate Light, a new 99-calorie, 5-carb, gluten-removed golden ale, in the second half of 2017 drove a 10% depletions increase in the fourth quarter. For the first eight weeks of 2018, Omission depletions increased 19% compared to the same period in 2017.

  5. Shipments decreased 3.5% compared to 2016, which is in line with updated guidance and reflects the significant 2017 wholesaler inventory reduction of 10 days, which equated to a 3% decrease in shipments as described above.

  6. Net sales were $207.5 million, a 2% increase over 2016, primarily due to increases in average unit pricing, alternating proprietorship sales, international distribution fees earned from AB, and Pabst contract shortfall fees.

  7. Total gross margin expanded 210 basis points to 31.5%, compared to 29.4% in 2016, in line with guidance.

  8. CBA’s beer gross margin expanded 320 basis points to 35.3%, underscoring record achievements in improving our operating performance.

  9. Pub gross margin decreased 690 basis points to 6.7%, primarily reflecting the impact of the closure of our Woodinville brewery as we put the facility and pub up for sale, as well as the temporary closure of our Portland pub for a remodel.

  10. Selling, general and administrative expense (“SG&A”) increased by $1.2 million to $60.5 million and was 29.1% of net sales. The total reflects a favorable $1.0 million Pabst contract settlement fee, partially offset by an impairment charge of $0.5 million related to the sale of our Woodinville brewery.

  11. EPS was $0.49, compared to a loss of $0.02 per share in 2016.

  12. Due to the change in federal tax law, we adjusted our deferred tax liabilities, resulting in a favorable non-cash income tax adjustment of $6.9 million, or $0.35 per share.

  13. CBA’s adjusted EPS improvement to $0.14 per share for the year also reflects 9% growth in gross profit driven by 2% growth in net sales and 210-basis-point gross margin expansion.

  14. Capital expenditures were $18.3 million, compared to $15.7 million in 2016, and primarily represent investments in Kona’s new brewery, Redhook’s new Seattle brewpub, and our Portland brewery to support our footprint optimization. Select financial results for the fourth quarter 2017:

  15. Depletions decreased 3% from the fourth quarter of 2016, partially offset by Kona, which increased by 6%.

  16. Shipments decreased 5.6% over the same period last year.

  17. Net sales were $46.0 million and flat compared to the fourth quarter in 2016.

  18. Total gross margin increased by 310 basis points to 32.4% over the fourth quarter last year. Beer gross margin for the fourth quarter was 37.6%, or 540 basis points higher than the same period in 2016.

  19. SG&A increased by $0.2 million to $13.1 million, and was 28.5% of net sales. Fourth quarter SG&A reflects a favorable $1.0 million Pabst contract settlement fee to CBA, partially offset by an impairment charge of $0.5 million related to the sale of our Woodinville brewery.

  20. Diluted EPS for the quarter was $0.40, compared to zero earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  21. Due to the change in federal tax law, we adjusted our deferred tax liabilities, resulting in a favorable income tax adjustment of $6.9 million, or $0.35 per share.

  22. Our adjusted EPS improvement to $0.05 for the fourth quarter was also driven by 11% growth in gross profit related to a 300-basis-point increase in gross margin. “2017 was a very good year for CBA. We combined strong progress in our strategic initiatives with record results operationally to deliver the best financial year in our company’s history…all within the most competitive beer market in recent memory,” said CBA CEO Andy Thomas. About Craft Brew Alliance Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) is an independent craft brewing company that brews, brands, and brings to market world-class American craft beers. Our distinctive portfolio combines the power of Kona Brewing Company, a top national craft beer brand, with strong regional breweries and innovative lifestyle brands Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Omission Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and Wynwood Brewing Co. CBA nurtures the growth and development of its brands in today’s increasingly competitive beer market through our state-of-the-art brewing and distribution capability, integrated sales and marketing infrastructure, and strong focus on partnerships, local community and sustainability.


Bravo Brio to be Acquired for $100MBuyer is a Swiss private-equity firm March 8, 2018--(NRN) Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. has agreed to be sold to Spice Private Equity Ltd., a Zug, Switzerland-based division of GP Investments Ltd., in a deal valued at about $100 million, the companies said Thursday. The Columbus, Ohio-based parent to the Bravo! Cucina Italiana and Brio Tuscan Grille chains had been exploring strategic options since last February amid same-store sales and profit declines. The company’s largest shareholder, TAC Capital LLC, had pressed for changes at the company. “Our board of directors, in consultation with our outside advisors, has evaluated all options available to BBRG, and we are confident that this transaction maximizes value for our shareholders,” said Alton F. (“Rick”) Doody III, Bravo Brio’s chairman, in a statement. “GP has a distinguished track record of being an active and valuable partner to its invested companies through its operationally oriented approach, which we expect will greatly enhance our ability to maximize the potential of our Bravo Brio brands nationwide,” he added. Antonio Bonchristiano, CEO of GP Investments, said, “As a private entity, we will have greater flexibility to take a long-term view as we invest in Bravo Brio’s future growth and expansion, which will drive rewards for the company and our investors.” Under the terms of the merger agreement, Bravo Brio shareholders will receive $4.05 per share in cash. The company’s stock closed at $3.47 per share on Wednesday. The purchase price represents a premium of about 37 percent over the volume weighted average price of the Bravo Brio’s shares for the 90-day period immediately preceding the date of the agreement. Shareholders must approve the transaction, and it is expected to close in the second quarter. Bravo Brio expects to report annual sales of more $400 million for the year ended Dec. 31. Bravo Brio went public in October 2010 in an initial public offering that raised $140 million. The company had 83 restaurants at the time. It currently owns and operates 110 locations in 32 states. Dechert LLP served as legal adviser to Bravo Brio, and Piper Jaffray & Co. served as financial adviser. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal adviser to GP.


J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. Reports Results For Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2017

Same Store Sales Continue To Increase In Final Quarter of 2017 Net Sales Increase 7% for the Fourth Quarter of 2017 March 7, 2018--NASHVILLE, TN--(BusinessWire) J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: JAX) (the Company), owner and operator of the J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill and Lyndhurst Grill collection of restaurants, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights Compared To The Fourth Quarter Of 2016

  1. Net sales were $61,338,000, an increase of 7% from $57,323,000 achieved in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  2. For the J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales per restaurant (1)were $117,200, an increase of 2.3% from $114,600 reported in the fourth quarter of 2016, and for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, average weekly same store sales were $85,100, a gain of 7.3% from $79,300 reported in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  3. Income from continuing operations before income taxes was $4,340,000 for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to income from continuing operations before income taxes of $3,679,000 for the fourth quarter of 2016. Several factors impacted income for the fourth quarter of 2017 including non-recurring transaction and integration expenses related to the Company’s proposed acquisition of the Ninety Nine Restaurant and Pub concept of $1,094,000. Excluding the non-recurring transaction and integration expenses, income from continuing operations before income taxes would have totaled $5,434,000 for the fourth quarter of 2017.

  4. During the fourth quarter of 2017, the valuation of the Black Knight Advisory Services, LLC (“Black Knight”) profits interest grant resulted in profits interest income of $773,000. This compares to profits interest expense of $881,000 recognized in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Black Knight profits interest grant, issued in October 2015, requires a quarterly valuation. The non-cash expense (income) associated with this grant is required to be recognized over the three-year vesting period of the grant and is calculated each quarter based upon the most recent valuation performed using the Black-Scholes valuation model, with any cumulative change associated with the most recent valuation impacting the most recent quarter. Primarily due to the $9.70 per share closing price of the Company’s stock at the end of the most recent quarter, the grant’s valuation decreased from $6,650,000 at October 1, 2017 to $4,876,000 at December 31, 2017. Also during the fourth quarter, the Company incurred consulting fees of $250,000 under its management agreement with Black Knight. This compares to consulting fees of $249,000 in the final quarter of 2016.

  5. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 totaled $5,340,000, up 96.3% from net income of $2,721,000 achieved in the comparable quarter of 2016. Results include an income tax benefit of $1,105,000 compared to an income tax provision of $852,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  6. Basic earnings per share totaled $0.36 for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $0.19 reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Diluted earnings per share totaled $0.36 for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $0.18 in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

  7. Adjusted EBITDA(2)decreased 1.0% to $8,177,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $8,256,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  8. Restaurant Operating Profit Margin (3)as a percent of net sales was 14.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 16.6% for the final quarter of 2016.

  9. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 32.1% compared to 30.7% in the same quarter of the previous year.

  10. On February 1, 2018, the Company announced that it did not receive the required number of disinterested shareholder votes to approve the proposed Ninety Nine Restaurants acquisition (originally announced in August 2017), and the merger agreement was thereafter terminated. For the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company’s restaurant labor and related costs as a percentage of net sales were 29.5% as compared to 29.7% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. Other restaurant operating expenses were 19.4% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 as compared to 19.1% of net sales in the last quarter of 2016. The Company’s consolidated operating income for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $4,507,000 compared to consolidated operating income of $3,794,000 recorded in the comparable quarter a year earlier. The average weekly guest counts within the same store base of the Company’s J. Alexander’s/Grills collection were down 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the corresponding quarter a year earlier. Guest counts within the same store base at the Company’s Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants were up 8.7% for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the final quarter of 2016. With respect to average guest checks, which include alcoholic beverage sales, the average guest check within the J. Alexander’s/Grills same store base of restaurants during the fourth quarter of 2017 was $31.86, up 2.7% from $31.03 during the fourth quarter of 2016. The average guest check within the same store base of Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants totaled $44.32 during the fourth quarter of the most recent year, down 1.3% from $44.90 recorded in the last quarter of 2016. On a consolidated basis, average weekly guest counts within the Company’s J. Alexander’s/Grills locations in the fourth quarter of 2017 were even with the fourth quarter of the prior year while average weekly guest counts within the Company’s Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill locations were up 7.2% for the final quarter of 2017 compared to the final quarter of 2016. Average guest checks for the combined J. Alexander’s/Grills concepts rose 2.6% from $31.10 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $31.90 for the fourth quarter of 2017. Average guest checks for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants decreased 1.8% from $44.90 in the last quarter of 2016 to $44.09 in the final quarter of 2017. The effect of menu pricing for the last quarter of 2017 was estimated to be a 1.6% increase for the J. Alexander’s/Grills restaurants and a 0.8% increase for the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016. Inflation in food costs for the fourth quarter of 2017 was estimated to total 4.9% for the J. Alexander’s/Grills restaurants, with beef costs increasing by an estimated 5.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. For the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants, inflation for the fourth quarter of 2017 was estimated to total 5.9%, with beef costs up by approximately 6.9% over the last quarter of 2016. About J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. is a collection of restaurants that focus on providing high quality food, outstanding professional service and an attractive ambiance. The Company presently operates four complementary restaurant concepts: J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill, Lyndhurst Grill and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill. J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc. presently operates 44 restaurants in 15 states. The Company has its headquarters in Nashville, TN. For additional information, visit www.jalexandersholdings.com.


Papa John’s Announces Fourth Quarter 2017 Results and Provides 2018 Outlook February 28, 2018--(HotelNewsResource) Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) yesterday announced financial results for the three months and full year ended December 31, 2017. Highlights

  1. GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.81 and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.65 in the fourth quarter of 2017, excluding Special items; adjusted earnings per diluted share down 6% from the fourth quarter 2016

  2. GAAP earnings per diluted share of $2.83 and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $2.62 for full year 2017, excluding Special items; adjusted earnings per diluted share up 3% over 2016

  3. System-wide North America comparable sales decrease of 3.9% for the fourth quarter and increase of 0.1% for the full year

  4. International comparable sales increases of 2.6% for the fourth quarter and 4.4% for the full year

  5. 98 net unit openings in the fourth quarter and 102 for the full year, of which all 102 were International “We know our potential is so much greater than our results, and we are taking significant steps to reinvigorate our record of profitable growth and value creation,” said Steve Ritchie, CEO and President of Papa John’s. “Actions are underway to improve our brand proposition, how we connect with customers, and how we operate at the unit level. These actions build on all the strengths of the Papa John’s brand and include a fresh perspective around marketing driven by new media and creative partnerships, hiring a new PR partner, and bringing online a new engine to drive our Papa Rewards loyalty system. Based on these initiatives, we expect to see marked improvements in sales later in 2018. Our franchise partners in the US are fully aligned with our initiatives and are excited about this next chapter of the Papa John’s brand.” GAAP and adjusted net income and diluted earnings per share results excluding Special items are summarized below. All highlights are compared to the same period of the prior year, unless otherwise noted on both a 53 week basis as well as a 52 week basis. (In thousands, except per share amounts)

Cash Dividend

We paid a cash dividend of approximately $7.8 million ($0.225 per common share) during the fourth quarter of 2017. Subsequent to the fourth quarter, on February 2, 2018, our Board of Directors declared a fourth quarter dividend of $0.225 per common share (approximately $7.6 million based on the current number of shares outstanding). The dividend was paid on February 23, 2018 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 12, 2018. The declaration and payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors, subject to the company’s financial results, cash requirements, and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors.


Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results

Pollo Tropical Comparable Restaurant Sales Increased in December, January and Month to Date February February 27, 2018--(RestaurantNews) Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI), parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant brands, yesterday reported results for the 13-week fourth quarter and 52-week full year 2017, which ended on December 31, 2017. The Company also announced that its board of directors has approved a share repurchase program for up to 1.5 million shares of the Company’s common stock. Fiesta President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Stockinger said, “The improvement in Pollo Tropical’s sales trajectory demonstrates that key elements of our Strategic Renewal Plan are building business momentum as we enter 2018. This is especially true in our core Miami-Dade and Broward county areas where we initially focused our revitalization efforts. Pollo Tropical recorded its best quarterly comparable restaurant sales performance over the past seven quarters in the fourth quarter of 2017 while, more importantly, the brand’s comparable restaurant sales rose 2.4% in December. In January, comparable restaurant sales increased 0.6% despite the approximately 0.7% negative impact related to a fiscal calendar shift of New Year’s Day. Pollo Tropical’s January comparable restaurant sales in Florida were 0.2% lower than TDnK’s Black Box Intelligence’s fast-casual Florida benchmark, while January comparable restaurant sales in Miami-Dade and Broward county areas exceeded TDnK’s Black Box Intelligence’s fast-casual Miami-Dade and Broward county benchmarks by 0.7% and 1.4%, respectively. This momentum has continued into the first three weeks in February, with Pollo Tropical comparable restaurant sales growth of 1.2%.” Mr. Stockinger added, “Since the Taco Cabana brand re-launch will start later than that of Pollo Tropical, sales trends at Taco Cabana have remained challenged but are improving as our team works in earnest to implement operational, culinary and facility initiatives to revitalize the brand. We are focused on attracting loyal guests as well as increasing the profitability of each transaction by offering high quality menu and promotional items at reasonable prices, while eliminating deep discounting, thereby increasing our average check. Our efforts to evolve our guest base have initially resulted in transaction declines but we anticipate a gradual improvement in trends as we build guest loyalty and frequency. With the focus and leadership of a new brand President, Taco Cabana is on track for a full re-launch by mid-2018. Taco Cabana’s January comparable restaurant sales declined by 3.4%, including the approximately 0.6% negative impact related to the fiscal calendar shift of New Year’s Day and the approximately 1.6% negative impact related to reduced overnight operating hours. Taco Cabana's January comparable restaurant sales were 1.1% lower than TDnK’s Black Box Intelligence’s fast-casual Texas benchmark. Additionally, comparable restaurant sales declined 2.0% in the first three weeks in February. Improving guest metrics continue to provide us confidence of anticipated future performance improvement, similar to what we are experiencing at Pollo Tropical.” Mr. Stockinger concluded, “We believe that as our sales improve at both brands, our deliberate focus on improving margins, while staying committed to delivering exceptional and consistent hospitality and craveable food at a great value will further bolster profitability during the year. We still have much work to do, but are optimistic that the Strategic Renewal Plan is reinvigorating our brands and will create strong value for our shareholders.” Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Summary Select Fourth quarter 2017 results:

  1. Total revenues decreased 5.3% from the prior year period to $162.2 million;

  2. Comparable restaurant sales at Pollo Tropical decreased 0.1%, primarily driven by a decrease in comparable restaurant transactions of 2.7%;

  3. Comparable restaurant sales at Taco Cabana decreased 7.4%, primarily driven by a decrease in comparable restaurant transactions of 12.2%;

  4. Net loss of $10.8 million or $0.40 per diluted share, compared to the prior year period net income of $2.4 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.

  5. Adjusted net loss of $(0.1) million, or $0.00 per diluted share, compared to the prior year period adjusted net income of $7.4 million, or $0.28 per diluted share (see non-GAAP reconciliation table below); and

  6. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $8.9 million compared to the prior year period Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $22.2 million (see non-GAAP reconciliation table below); and

  7. Refinanced Company debt and entered into a new senior secured credit facility that provides up to $150 million of revolving credit borrowings.About Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., owns, operates and franchises Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant brands. The brands specialize in the operation of fast casual/quick service, ethnic restaurants that offer distinct and unique flavors with broad appeal at a compelling value. The brands feature fresh-made cooking, drive-thru service and catering.


Zoes Logo

Zoës Kitchen Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Results February 22, 2018--PLANO, TX--(BusinessWire) Zoe's Kitchen, Inc. ("Zoës Kitchen" or the "Company") (NYSE:ZOES) today reported financial results for the twelve and fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2017. Highlights for the twelve weeks ended December 25, 2017, as compared to the twelve weeks ended December 26, 2016:

  1. Total revenue increased 15.2% to $71.4 million.

  2. Comparable restaurant sales increased 0.3%.

  3. Five new Company-owned restaurants opened.

  4. Loss from operations increased 123.6% to $2.8 million

  5. Restaurant contribution* increased 10.5% to $11.4 million.

  6. Net loss was $2.9 million, or $0.15 per basic and diluted share, compared to net loss of $0.5 million, or $0.03 per basic and diluted share. Net loss for the twelve weeks ended December 25, 2017 included a $1.1 million benefit for income taxes inclusive of a $2.2 million benefit related to tax reform. Net loss for the twelve weeks ended December 26, 2016 included a $1.7 million benefit for income taxes.

  7. Adjusted net loss* was $2.4 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net loss of $1.4 million or $0.07 per diluted share.

  8. Adjusted EBITDA* decreased 3.8% to $2.9 million. Highlights for the fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2017, as compared to the fifty-two weeks ended December 26, 2016:

  9. Total revenue increased 13.8% to $314.1 million.

  10. Comparable restaurant sales decreased 2.0%.

  11. 39 new Company-owned restaurants opened.

  12. Income from operations decreased 80.9% to $1.2 million

  13. Restaurant contribution* increased 5.3% to $58.1 million.

  14. Net loss was $2.0 million, or $0.10 per basic diluted share, compared to net income of $1.8 million, or $0.09 per basic and diluted share. Net loss for the fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2017 included a $1.3 million benefit for income taxes inclusive of a $2.2 million benefit related to tax reform.

  15. Adjusted net loss* was $1.9 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $1.7 million or $0.08 per diluted share.

  16. Adjusted EBITDA* decreased 0.4% to $25.0 million. (*) Restaurant contribution, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted net income (loss) are non-GAAP measures. For reconciliations of restaurant contribution to income (loss) from operations; EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income to GAAP net income (loss); and why the Company considers these non-GAAP measures useful, see the reconciliation of non-GAAP measures accompanying this release. Kevin Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zoës Kitchen, commented, “I continue to be very pleased with our team’s focus and discipline toward executing our initiatives, which resulted in improved operations and guest experience throughout the year, including our fourth quarter. Seeing the positive impact of these initiatives on our business, I am confident that our strategy is on firm footing and that we are continuing to build a strong brand for long-term success.” Miles continued, “Looking ahead to 2018, we are focused on several growth drivers that include new menu items and beverage innovation that will extend our leadership position in the Mediterranean category as well as drive growth in our dinner day part; investing in our digital platform and marketing to build deeper guest relationships and offer more convenience; and expanding our reach through off-premise catering and delivery channels. We believe these initiatives, along with reducing our development to 25 new locations and leveraging our expense management efficiencies, are the right steps to drive long-term shareholder value.” About Zoës Kitchen

Founded in 1995, Zoës Kitchen is a fast-casual restaurant group serving a distinct menu of fresh, wholesome, made-from-scratch, Mediterranean-inspired dishes delivered with warm hospitality. With no microwaves, or fryers, grilling is the predominate method of cooking along with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, olive oil and lean proteins. With 249 locations in 20 states across the United States, Zoës Kitchen delivers goodness to its guests by sharing simple, tasty and fresh Mediterranean meals that inspire guests to lead a balanced lifestyle and feel their best from the inside out. For more information, please visit www.zoeskitchen.com.


Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Reports Results for the Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2017 February 22, 2018—GREENWOOD VILLIAGE, CO--(BusinessWire) Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., (NASDAQ:RRGB), a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, today reported financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. Financial Highlights for the 13 Weeks Ended December 31, 2017 Compared to the 12 Weeks Ended December 25, 2016

  1. Total revenues were $342.4 million, an increase of 17.5%;

  2. Net income was $8.8 million compared to net loss of $8.8 million;

  3. Comparable restaurant revenue increased 2.7% (using constant currency rates);

  4. Comparable restaurant guest counts increased 1.9%;

  5. Off-premise increased to 8.3% of total food and beverage sales compared to 5.7%;

  6. Adjusted EBITDA was $35.8 million compared to $29.2 million (see Schedule III);

  7. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.68 compared to GAAP loss per diluted share of $0.68; and

  8. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.78 compared to $0.35 (see Schedule I).Financial Highlights for the 53 Weeks Ended December 31, 2017 Compared to the 52 Weeks Ended December 25, 2016

  9. Total revenues were $1.4 billion, an increase of 6.5%;

  10. Net income was $30.0 million compared to $11.7 million;

  11. Comparable restaurant revenue increased 0.6% (using constant currency rates);

  12. Comparable restaurant guest counts increased 0.4%;

  13. Adjusted EBITDA was $139.4 million compared to $138.3 million (see Schedule III);

  14. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $2.31 compared to $0.87; and

  15. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $2.49 compared to $2.78 (see Schedule I). “We outperformed the casual dining industry on Guest traffic for the sixth consecutive quarter and ended 2017 with positive same store sales, while making considerable progress on the critical changes that will make Red Robin successful in 2018 and beyond,” said Denny Marie Post, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. chief executive officer. “While positive trends in Guest counts, restaurant revenues, controllable labor, value perception and off-premise demand are all encouraging, we know we also need to continue to evolve our service model, make smart investments in technology and maximize growth of new channels. We will continue to innovate and move urgently in the areas of the business that matter most to our Guests, benefit our Team Members and drive growth.” Operating Results Total revenues, which primarily include Company-owned restaurant revenue and franchise royalties, increased 17.5% to $342.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $291.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Restaurant revenue increased $50.2 million, with the thirteenth week in the fourth quarter of 2017 contributing $29.8 million in restaurant revenue. The remaining increase was due to a $14.2 million increase in revenue from new restaurant openings and a $8.2 million, or 2.7%, increase in comparable restaurant revenue, partially offset by $1.5 million from closed restaurants and a $0.5 million unfavorable foreign currency impact. System-wide restaurant revenue (which includes franchised units) for the fourth quarter of 2017 totaled $404.1 million, compared to $347.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Comparable restaurant revenue(1) increased 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period a year ago, driven by a 1.9% increase in guest counts and a 0.8% increase in average guest check. The increase in average guest check comprised a 2.6% increase in pricing, partially offset by a 1.8% decrease in menu mix. The Company’s comparable revenue growth is calculated by comparing the same calendar weeks which, for 2016, include the first week of 2017. Restaurant-level operating profit margin (a non-GAAP financial measure) increased to 20.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 19.8% in the same period a year ago. The 70 basis point margin increase in the fourth quarter of 2017 resulted from a 100 basis point decrease in labor costs, a 50 basis point decrease in other restaurant operating expenses, and a 20 basis point decrease in occupancy costs, offset by a 90 basis point increase in cost of sales. Schedule II of this earnings release defines restaurant-level operating profit, discusses why it is a useful metric for investors, and reconciles this metric to income from operations and net income, in each case under GAAP. (1) Comparable restaurants are those Company-owned restaurants that have operated five full quarters during the period presented, and such restaurants are only included in the comparable metrics if they are comparable for the entirety of both periods presented .About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (www.redrobin.com), a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., and under the trade name Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, is the Gourmet Burger Authority™, famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® in a fun environment welcoming to guests of all ages. Whether a family dining with kids, adults grabbing a drink at the bar, or teens enjoying a meal, Red Robin offers an unparalleled experience for its guests. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and signature beverages. Red Robin offers a variety of options behind the bar, including its extensive selection of local and regional beers, and innovative adult beer shakes and cocktails, earning the restaurant a VIBE Vista Award for Best Beer Program in a Multi-Unit Chain Restaurant. There are more than 560 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including locations operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®!


Bloomin' Brands Announces 2017 Q4 Diluted EPS of $0.17 and Adjusted Diluted EPS of $0.41

Q4 Comparable Restaurant Sales Growth of 4.7% at Outback With Positive Traffic of 4.3% Q4 Combined U.S. Comparable Restaurant Sales Growth of 3.3% With Positive Traffic of 1.8% Provides 2018 Financial Outlook February 22, 2018--TAMPA, FL--(PRNewswire) Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLMN) today reported results for the fourth quarter 2017 ("Q4 2017") and fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 ("Fiscal Year 2017") compared to the fourth quarter 2016 ("Q4 2016") and fiscal year ended December 25, 2016 ("Fiscal Year 2016").  In 2017, the fourth quarter and fiscal year included an additional operating week ("53rd week") compared to Fiscal Year 2016. Highlights for Q4 2017 include the following:

  1. Comparable restaurant sales were up 4.7% at U.S. Outback Steakhouse with traffic up 4.3%(1);

  2. Combined U.S. comparable restaurant sales were up 3.3% with traffic up 1.8%(1);

  3. Comparable restaurant sales were up 4.9% for Outback Steakhouse in Brazil; and

  4. Opened seven new restaurants, including four in international markets.Highlights for Fiscal Year 2017 include the following:

  5. Comparable restaurant sales were up 1.8% at U.S. Outback Steakhouse with traffic up 0.3%(1);

  6. Combined U.S. comparable restaurant sales were up 0.5% with traffic down 1.3%(1);

  7. Comparable restaurant sales were up 6.3% for Outback Steakhouse in Brazil;

  8. Opened 31 new restaurants, including 23 in international markets; and

  9. Repurchased 13.8 million shares of common stock for a total of $273 million.CEO Comments "By all measures the fourth quarter was an excellent finish to 2017 for Bloomin' Brands," said Liz Smith, CEO. "Outback's Q4 sales and traffic performance were well ahead of the industry, and reflect the ongoing impact of our investments in the customer experience.  We are pleased with how our brands are performing so far in early 2018, particularly at Outback where momentum continues."

  10. The increase in total revenues was primarily due to $80.4 million of revenues from the 53rdweek of 2017, higher comparable restaurant sales and an increase in franchise and other revenues, partially offset by decreases from refranchising internationally and domestically and the net impact of restaurant closures and new restaurant openings.

  11. The increase in U.S. GAAP operating income margin was primarily due to: (i) the impact of the 53rdweek in 2017, (ii) net year-over-year impact of closure and restructuring initiatives, (iii) the impact of certain cost savings initiatives and (iv) lower advertising expense. These increases were partially offset by increases in incentive compensation expense and higher labor costs.

  12. The largest contributor to our decline in Q4 2017 adjusted operating income margin was an increase in incentive compensation expense driven by improved sales and profit performance. In Q4 2017, we recorded $15.3 million of incentive compensation expense as compared to a $9.0 million reversal of incentive compensation expense in Q4 2016, resulting in a $24.3 million dollar change in year-over-year incentive compensation expense.About Bloomin' Brands, Inc.

Bloomin' Brands, Inc. is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world with a portfolio of leading, differentiated restaurant concepts. The Company has four founder-inspired brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. The Company operates approximately 1,500 restaurants in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 19 countries, some of which are franchise locations. For more information, please visit www.bloominbrands.com.


Romano's Macaroni Grill Emerges from Chapter 11 Protection February 22, 2018--DENVER, CO--(BusinessWire) Romano’s Macaroni Grill, the award-winning Italian casual dining chain, today announced its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Romano’s Macaroni Grill has been a pioneer in the space and has successfully leveraged the court administered restructuring process to shed legacy liabilities and significantly strengthen the Company, amid industry headwinds. The Company filed for Chapter 11 protection on October 18, 2017 and emerged from bankruptcy on February 15, 2018. The Company successfully renegotiated lease terms, vendor contracts and secured $13.5MM in new capital to both fund the restructuring efforts and invest directly in the Company in the form of human capital and systems. “Macaroni Grill is without a doubt one of the premier Italian dining options in the industry. The Company has forged the path for Italian dining with ingredients coming straight from Italy and an environment that is focused on genuine hospitality and generosity. Through the restructuring and turnaround process, the Company has firmly re-established itself and the results have been tremendous, which is a testament to the brand, our team and our loyal guests,” said Nishant Machado of Mackinac Partners who serves as CRO and CEO of Macaroni Grill. Romano’s Macaroni Grill is focused on the future and on continuing to exceed guests’ expectations with its award-winning food and dedication to hospitality. About Romano’s Macaroni Grill® Romano’s Macaroni Grill is an Italian restaurant brand founded in 1988. Inspired by Italian country cuisine, Macaroni Grill restaurants feature an open kitchen that allows guests to see its ingredients and preparation techniques that blend Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration, in a polished casual atmosphere. Named the No. 1 Italian Restaurant Chain in America in 2016 in a Nation's Restaurant News consumer survey, Macaroni Grill has 86 company-owned locations in 22 states, plus 21 franchise locations in the U.S. and 7 other countries.


JackintheBox

Jack in the Box Inc. Reports First Quarter FY 2018 Earnings: Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend February 21, 2018--SAN DIEGO, CA--(BusinessWire) Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended January 21, 2018, which reflect the following items:

  1. Qdoba®results are included in discontinued operations for all periods presented;

  2. the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act"), including a one-time, non-cash charge as well as a lower statutory federal tax rate;

  3. implementation of an accounting change related to the tax treatment of stock-based compensation; and

  4. the reclassification of all depreciation and amortization expense into a separate line in the condensed consolidated statements of earnings. Earnings from continuing operations were $12.9 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended January 21, 2018, compared with $34.5 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Operating Earnings Per Share(1), a non-GAAP measure, were $1.23 in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 compared with $1.07 in the prior year quarter. A reconciliation of non-GAAP Operating Earnings Per Share to GAAP results is provided below, with additional information included in the attachment to this release. Figures may not add due to rounding. ____________________________ (1) Operating Earnings Per Share represents diluted earnings per share from continuing operations on a GAAP basis excluding gains or losses on the sale of company-operated restaurants, restructuring charges, the one-time, non-cash impact of the Tax Act, and the excess tax benefits from share-based compensation arrangements which are now recorded as a component of income tax expense versus equity previously. See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measurements to GAAP Results."

Adjusted EBITDA(2), a non-GAAP measure, was $85.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 as compared with $90.6 million for the prior year quarter. The Tax Act, enacted into law on December 22, 2017, significantly impacted the company’s effective tax rate for the quarter ended January 21, 2018. The Tax Act reduced the federal statutory rate from 35 percent to 21 percent as of January 1, 2018. As a company with a fiscal year-end of September 30, the tax rate reduction will be phased in, resulting in a blended statutory federal tax rate of 24.5 percent for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018. In addition, the Tax Act resulted in a one-time, non-cash increase to the provision for income taxes of $30.6 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. This adjustment related primarily to the revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities at the new lower rates, and is based upon estimates and interpretations of the Tax Act which may be refined as further guidance is issued. In the first quarter of 2018, the company adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-09, Compensation-Stock Compensation: Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (“ASU 2016-09”). As required by the updated accounting standard, excess tax benefits or deficiencies are now recorded to the provision for income taxes in the condensed consolidated statement of earnings, on a prospective basis, instead of additional paid-in capital in the condensed consolidated balance sheet. The adoption resulted in a reduction to the provision for income taxes of $0.8 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, but had no impact on cash paid for income taxes. Excess tax benefits will vary in future periods, as such amounts are dependent on the number of shares released related to employee stock compensation arrangements and fluctuations in the company’s stock price. ____________________________ (2) Adjusted EBITDA represents net earnings on a GAAP basis excluding losses (earnings) from discontinued operations, income taxes, interest expense, net, gains or losses on the sale of company-operated restaurants, impairment and other charges, depreciation and amortization, and the amortization of franchise tenant improvement allowances. See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measurements to GAAP Results." Restructuring charges of $0.4 million, or approximately $0.01 per diluted share, were recorded during the first quarter of fiscal 2018, as compared with $0.2 million, or less than $0.01 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Restructuring charges are included in "Impairment and other charges, net" in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of earnings, which decreased in the first quarter to $2.3 million from $2.7 million in the year ago quarter. Lenny Comma, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Our first quarter operating results for Jack in the Box® were in line with our expectations. We remain focused on regaining momentum in a highly competitive environment through several key initiatives, including a greater emphasis on value, while continuing to introduce innovative new products like the Ribeye Burger and our recently launched Food Truck series of sandwiches. "During the first quarter, we refranchised 22 Jack in the Box restaurants. We currently have signed non-binding letters of intent with franchisees to sell 58 additional restaurants, and continue to anticipate the Jack in the Box franchise mix to reach approximately 95 percent by the end of the fiscal year. "We are working with our advisors to adjust our capital structure to reflect a less capital-intensive business model, and we remain committed to returning cash to shareholders." Qdoba Discontinued Operations In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the company entered into a definitive agreement to sell Qdoba Restaurant Corporation ("Qdoba"), a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, to certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, "Apollo"). The transaction is expected to close by April 2018. As a result of the pending sale, operating results for Qdoba are included in discontinued operations for all periods presented. However, the company did not allocate any general and administrative shared services expenses to discontinued operations. Qdoba generated a net loss of $0.6 million for the current quarter vs. net earnings of $1.4 million in the prior year quarter. About Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK), based in San Diego, is a restaurant company that operates and franchises Jack in the Box® restaurants, one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states and Guam. Additionally, through a wholly owned subsidiary, the company operates and franchises QDOBA MEXICAN EATS®, a leader in fast-casual dining, with more than 700 restaurants in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. For more information on Jack in the Box and QDOBA, including franchising opportunities, visit www.jackinthebox.com or www.qdoba.com.


The Cheesecake Factory Reports Results for Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2018 February 21, 2018--CALABASAS HILLS, CA--(BusinessWire) The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ: CAKE) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, which ended on January 2, 2018. Total revenues were $571.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 as compared to $603.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 included 13 weeks compared to 14 weeks in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Net income and diluted net income per share were $57.7 million and $1.24, respectively, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. The Company recorded a $38.5 million benefit to the income tax provision from a revaluation of the Company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities related to recently enacted tax reform. The Company also recorded a pre-tax, non-cash impairment charge of $9.1 million related to one Cheesecake Factory restaurant and one Grand Lux Cafe. Excluding these items, net income and diluted net income per share were $24.7 million and $0.53, respectively, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Comparable restaurant sales at The Cheesecake Factory restaurants declined 0.9% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 (13 weeks vs. 13 weeks). “Our sales trend started to stabilize during the fourth quarter, which coupled with solid operational performance, drove comparable sales and earnings results within our expectations,” said David Overton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we opened six restaurants during the quarter, including our first Company-owned international location in Canada, as we continue to execute our growth strategy.” Overton continued, “Underscoring the strength of our culture and values, we are honored to be recognized as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For®” by FORTUNE magazine for the fifth consecutive year. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our founding this year, our steadfast commitment to taking exceptional care of our guests and staff members has been integral to our success. Even in the face of a challenging restaurant industry environment during 2017, this long-term mindset guides our strategic initiatives and paves the way for a solid future for The Cheesecake Factory.” About The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates 214 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S.A., including Puerto Rico, and Canada, comprised of 199 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory® mark; 13 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe® mark; and two restaurants under the RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen® mark (transitioning from Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen®). Internationally, 20 The Cheesecake Factory® restaurants operate under licensing agreements. The Company’s bakery division operates two bakery production facilities, in Calabasas Hills, CA and Rocky Mount, NC, that produce quality cheesecakes and other baked products for its restaurants, international licensees and third-party bakery customers. In 2018, the Company was named to the FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list for the fifth consecutive year. To learn more about the Company, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com.


Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Financial Results

Fourth Quarter Comparable Restaurant Sales Increases 1.5% on a Comparable 14-Week Basis February 21, 2018—DUBLIN, OH--(Restaurant Resource) Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RUTH) today reported unaudited financial results for its 14-week fourth quarter and 53-week full year ended December 31, 2017, and announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per share to be paid in the first quarter of 2018. Highlights for the 14-week fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the 13-week fourth quarter of 2016 were as follows:

  1. The Company reported net income of $9.6 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to net income of $9.2 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  2. Income from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $9.6 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $9.4 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  3. The Company’s fourth quarter of 2017 consisted of 14 weeks compared to 13 weeks in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Company estimates that the extra week increased earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017 by approximately $0.06 per share.

  4. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2017 included a $3.9 million non-cash charge related to the impairment of assets at one restaurant location and $0.6 million in deal-related expenses associated with the acquisition of our Hawaiian franchisee.

  5. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also known as H.R. 1, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. This act will significantly lower the Company’s tax rate and reduced the value of the Company’s deferred tax assets by $1.1 million. Additionally during the fourth quarter, the Company recorded income tax expense of $0.1 million related to other discrete state income tax items. Combined, these discrete income tax items reduced net income by $1.2 million, or $0.04 per diluted share.

  6. Excluding these adjustments, as well as the results from discontinued operations, non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share were $0.44 in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $0.31 in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Company believes that non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share provides a useful alternative measure of financial performance. Investors are advised to see the attached Reconciliation of non-GAAP Financial Measure table for additional information.

  7. During the fourth quarter the Company repurchased 450 thousand shares of common stock under its current share repurchase program.

  8. One Company-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurant opened in suburban Denver, CO in the fourth quarter of 2017. Michael P. O'Donnell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc., noted, “I am pleased to report a return to positive traffic during the fourth quarter, and am proud that 2017 marked our 8th consecutive year of positive comparable restaurant sales. These results would not be possible without our incredibly dedicated team members and franchise partners.” O’Donnell added, “During the quarter we also welcomed our six Hawaii restaurants to our corporate family and we are encouraged as we move forward together in 2018.” Total revenues in the 14-week fourth quarter of 2017 were $124.1 million, an increase of 15.3% compared to $107.6 million in the 13-week fourth quarter of 2016. On December 12, 2017, the Company completed the previously announced acquisition of six franchised Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants in Hawaii for approximately $35 million in cash. The acquisition was funded with debt through the Company’s senior credit facility. The Company reported net income of $30.1 million, or $0.97 per diluted share for the full fiscal year 2017, compared to net income of $30.5 million, or $0.95 per diluted share for the full fiscal year 2016. During the year, the Company repurchased 1.2 million shares of common stock under its current and previous share repurchase programs. Total revenues in fiscal 2017 increased 7.5% to $414.8 million compared to $385.9 million in the prior year. Quarterly Cash Dividend Subsequent to the end of 2017, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend to shareholders of $0.11 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 22, 2018 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 8, 2018, and represents a 22% increase from the quarterly cash dividend paid in March of 2017. About Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc., headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, is the largest fine dining steakhouse company in the U.S. as measured by the total number of Company-owned and franchisee-owned restaurants, with over 150 Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations worldwide specializing in USDA Prime grade steaks served in Ruth’s Chris’ signature fashion – “sizzling.”


The Wendy's Company Reports Preliminary 2017 Results; Announces 2018 Outlook And Updates 2020 Goals

North America same-restaurant sales increase 1.3% in 4Q and 2.0% in 2017; 20th consecutive quarter of positive same-restaurant sales Global net new restaurant growth of 1.5% in 2017; Highest net new restaurant growth since 2004 North America AUVs increase 2.7% to all-time high of $1.61 million Board of Directors authorized 21% increase in quarterly dividend rate and new $175 million share repurchase program February 21, 2018--DUBLIN, OH--(PRNewswire) The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) today reported preliminary unaudited results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2017. The Company plans to release its audited financial results on or before February 28, 2018. "Our strong 2017 results demonstrate the strength of the Wendy's® brand and are a testament to our successful transition to a predominantly franchised business model," President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. "We are very proud of the fact that we have now recorded 20 consecutive quarters of positive same-restaurant sales in North America, two consecutive years of positive global net new restaurant growth and that North America AUVs have reached an all-time high of $1.61 million. Thanks to our significantly increased cash flows and resilient bottom line, we continue to reward shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, with $196 million of cash returned to shareholders in 2017. Our relentless focus on executing every element of The Wendy's Way by providing food our customers love, friendly service, value, and an inviting atmosphere will continue to drive growth in the future."

Preliminary Fourth Quarter Financial Highlights

  1. Total revenues were $309.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $309.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Total revenues were essentially flat year-over-year despite the ownership of 90 fewer Company-operated restaurants at the end of the fourth quarter 2017 compared to the beginning of the fourth quarter 2016, which resulted in fewer sales at Company-operated restaurants, offset by higher franchise royalty revenue, fees and rental income.

  2. Company-operated restaurant margin was 17.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to 18.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 130 basis-point decrease was primarily the result of higher commodity and labor costs, partially offset by lower other operating costs.

  3. General and administrative expense was $51.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $61.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 15.2 percent decrease resulted primarily from lower professional fees and cost savings related to the Company's system optimization initiative.

  4. Operating profit was $66.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $79.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 15.9 percent decrease resulted primarily from a year-over-year decrease in gains from the Company's system optimization initiative, in addition to the items discussed above.

  5. Net income was $159.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to net income of $28.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. In addition to the items discussed above, the year-over-year increase of 451.3 percent resulted primarily from a decrease in the effective tax rate due to revaluing deferred tax assets and liabilities at the lower U.S. corporate tax rate as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

  6. Adjusted EBITDA was $104.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $91.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA increased 14.2 percent year-over-year, despite the ownership of 90 fewer Company-operated restaurants at the end of the fourth quarter 2017 compared to the beginning of the fourth quarter 2016. General and administrative expense savings and an increase in franchise net rental income, fees and royalties contributed to the year-over-year improvement.

  7. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 33.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to 29.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 420 basis-point improvement reflects the positive impact of the Company's system optimization initiative.

  8. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.64 in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $0.11 in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  9. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.11 in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $0.08 in the fourth quarter of 2016. The 37.5 percent increase resulted primarily from the items discussed above and reflects a 2.9 percent year-over-year reduction in the weighted average diluted shares outstanding. The net positive impact from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, primarily the result of revaluing the Company's deferred tax assets and liabilities, has been excluded from the Company's adjusted earnings per share results. Preliminary Full Year 2017 Financial Highlights

  10. Total revenues were $1,223.4 million in 2017, compared to $1,435.4 million in 2016. The 14.8 percent decrease resulted primarily from the ownership of 295 fewer Company-operated restaurants at the end of 2017 compared to the beginning of 2016, which resulted in fewer sales at Company-operated restaurants, partly offset by higher franchise royalty revenue, fees and rental income.

  11. Company-operated restaurant margin was 17.6 percent in 2017, compared to 19.1 percent in 2016. The 150 basis-point decrease was primarily the result of higher labor and commodity costs, partially offset by lower other operating costs.

  12. General and administrative expense was $208.6 million in 2017, compared to $245.9 million in 2016. The 15.2 percent decrease resulted primarily from lower professional fees and cost savings related to the Company's system optimization initiative.

  13. Operating profit was $214.8 million in 2017, compared to $314.8 million in 2016. The 31.8 percent decrease resulted primarily from a year-over-year decrease in gains from the Company's system optimization initiative and higher reorganization and realignment costs related to the Company's G&A savings initiative, in addition to the items discussed above.

  14. Net income was $194.0 million in 2017, compared to net income of $129.6 million in 2016. In addition to the items discussed above, the year-over-year increase of 49.7 percent resulted primarily from a decrease in the effective tax rate due to revaluing deferred tax assets and liabilities at the lower U.S. corporate tax rate as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

  15. Adjusted EBITDA was $406.2 million in 2017, compared to $391.9 million in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA increased 3.7 percent year-over-year, despite the ownership of 295 fewer Company-operated restaurants at the end of 2017 compared to the beginning of 2016. General and administrative expense savings and an increase in franchise net rental income, royalties and fees contributed to the year-over-year improvement.

  16. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 33.2 percent in 2017, compared to 27.3 percent in 2016. The 590 basis-point improvement reflects the positive impact of the Company's system optimization initiative.

  17. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.77 in 2017, compared to $0.49 in 2016.

  18. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.43 in 2017, compared to $0.40 in 2016. The 7.5 percent increase resulted primarily from the items discussed above and reflects a 5.4 percent year-over-year reduction in the weighted average diluted shares outstanding. The net positive impact from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, primarily the result of revaluing the Company's deferred tax assets and liabilities, has been excluded from the Company's adjusted earnings per share results.

  19. Cash flows from operations were $251.6 million in 2017, compared to $188.9 million in 2016. The 33.2 percent increase was the result of an increase in net income adjusted for non-cash expenses and a favorable change in working capital.

  20. Capital expenditures were $81.7 million in 2017, compared to $150.0 million in 2016. The 45.5 percent decrease resulted primarily from the ownership of fewer Company-operated restaurants through the Company's system optimization initiative.

  21. Free cash flow was $169.9 million in 2017, compared to $38.9 million in 2016. The 336.7 percent increase resulted from a year-over-year decrease in capital expenditures and higher cash flows from operations.New Restaurant Development In 2017, the Company achieved 1.5 percent global net new restaurant growth, which represents the Company's highest growth rate since 2004. North America contributed 0.5 percent net new restaurant growth and International grew by 14.8 percent during 2017. The Company expects 2018 global net new unit growth of approximately 2 percent, with approximately 1 percent growth in North America and approximately 16 percent growth for International. About The Wendy's Company The Wendy's Company is the world's third-largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy's system includes approximately 6,600 franchise and Company-operated restaurants in the United States and 30 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.aboutwendys.com.


DineEquity, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2017 Results

Company Declares First Quarter 2018 Dividend Company Announces Name Change to Dine Brands Global, Inc. February 20, 2018—GLENDALE, CA--(PRNewswire) Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar® and IHOP® restaurants, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017.  Additionally, the Company's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.63 per share of common stock for the first quarter of 2018.  The dividend will be payable on April 6, 2018 to the Company's stockholders of record at the close of business on March 19, 2018.  The Company also announced that it will change its name to Dine Brands Global, Inc., effective February 20, 2018, as part of its ongoing transformation strategy. "We continue to make excellent progress against our plan to stabilize and grow performance at both brands.  We are working on several exciting initiatives to expand our revenue channels, continually enhance the guest experience, improve operations and grow our global presence while investing in the long-term health of our two strong brands," said Stephen P. Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of Dine Brands Global, Inc. Mr. Joyce continued, "Our new company name reflects a shift in strategy and a values-based performance culture with greater autonomy and accountability at the brand level.  We are focused on returning to a growth company and delivering strong returns to our shareholders.  We believe the change in our quarterly dividend to a more appropriate dividend yield will result in a favorable capital allocation framework and provide us the opportunity for meaningful share repurchases, investments in our brands as well as opportunities to scale our business.  I am very confident that the steps we are taking will drive sustainable results as we continue to build on the encouraging positive same-restaurant sales and traffic performance of both brands in January." Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2017 Financial Highlights

  1. GAAP net income available to common stockholders was $83.0 million, or earnings per diluted share of $4.67 for the fourth quarter of 2017. This compares to net income available to common stockholders of $21.1 million, or earnings per diluted share of $1.18, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The increase in net income was primarily due to a tax benefit of $66.6 million mainly as the result of the revaluation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities due to a future reduction in our corporate tax rate following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax legislation in December 2017. This item was partially offset by a decline in gross profit. The decrease in gross profit was due to an increase in franchisor contributions to the Applebee's national advertising fund, higher bad debt expense, a reduction in revenue recognized due to the non-collectability of Applebee's franchisee royalties and the impact of restaurant closures.

  2. Adjusted net income available to common stockholders was $13.1 million, or adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.74, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. This compares to adjusted net income available to common stockholders of $24.5 million, or adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.37, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The decrease in adjusted net income was mainly due to a decline in gross profit, as explained in the previous paragraph. The impact of lower adjusted net income on adjusted earnings per diluted share was partially offset by fewer weighted average diluted shares outstanding. (See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.)

  3. General and administrative expenses were approximately $40.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. This compares to $37.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The increase was mainly due to higher personnel costs. Fiscal 2017 Financial Highlights

  4. GAAP net loss available to common stockholders was $324.0 million, or net loss per diluted share of $18.28 for fiscal 2017.  This compares to net income available to common stockholders of $96.6 million, or earnings per diluted share of $5.33, for fiscal 2016.  The net loss was primarily due to non-cash impairment charges in fiscal 2017 totaling $531.6 million related to the write-downs in the third quarter of Applebee's goodwill and other intangible assets as well as lower gross profit.  These items were partially offset by a tax benefit of $94.8 million primarily as the result of the fourth-quarter revaluation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities due to a future reduction in our corporate tax rate.

  5. Adjusted net income available to common stockholders was $73.7 million, or adjusted earnings per diluted share of $4.15, for fiscal 2017.  This compares to adjusted net income available to common stockholders of $108.9 million, or adjusted earnings per diluted share of $6.01, for fiscal 2016.  The decrease in adjusted net income was mainly due to lower gross profit and an increase in general and administrative expenses.  The decline in gross profit was due to higher bad debt expense, an increase in franchisor contributions to the Applebee's national advertising fund, a reduction in revenue recognized due to the non-collectability of Applebee's franchisee royalties, the impact of restaurant closures and a 5.3% decline in Applebee's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales.  (See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.)

  6. General and administrative expenses were $165.7 million for fiscal 2017 compared to $148.9 million for fiscal 2016.  The increase was primarily due to approximately $9 million of non-recurring cash severance and equity compensation charges incurred in the first quarter of 2017 and higher costs for professional services associated with investments in Applebee's stabilization initiatives.

  7. Cash flows from operating activities were $65.7 million for fiscal 2017 compared to $118.1 million for fiscal 2016.  The decline was primarily due to a decrease in gross profit from franchise operations and an increase in general and administrative expenses.  Adjusted free cash flow was $63.0 million for fiscal 2017, compared to $122.5 million for fiscal 2016.  (See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.) Same-Restaurant Sales Performance Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2017

  8. Applebee's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales increased 1.3% for the fourth quarter of 2017.

  9. IHOP's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales modestly declined 0.4% for the fourth quarter of 2017. Fiscal 2017

  10. Applebee's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales declined 5.3% for fiscal 2017.

  11. IHOP's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales declined 1.9% for fiscal 2017. About Dine Brands Global, Inc.

Based in Glendale, California, Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), through its subsidiaries, franchises restaurants under both the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands.  With more than 3,700 restaurants combined in 18 countries and over 380 franchisees, Dine Brands is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. For more information on Dine Brands, visit the Company's website located at www.dinebrands.com.


Domino's Pizza® Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2017 Financial Results

Global retail sales growth of 11.7% for the fourth quarter;12.7% for fiscal 2017Domestic same store sales growth of 4.2% for the fourth quarter; 7.7% for fiscal 2017 International same store sales growth of 2.5% for the fourth quarter; 3.4% for fiscal 2017 Global net store growth of 422 for the fourth quarter; 1,045 for fiscal 2017 Diluted EPS up 41.2% to $2.09 for the fourth quarter; up 35.6% to $5.83 for fiscal 2017 February 20, 2018—ANN ARBOR, MI--(PRNewswire) Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, announced results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017, comprised of strong growth in same store sales, global store counts and earnings per share. Domestic same store sales grew 4.2% during the quarter versus the year-ago period, and 7.7% for the full year, continuing the positive sales momentum in the Company's domestic business. The international division also posted positive results, with same store sales growth of 2.5% during the quarter and 3.4% for the full year. The fourth quarter marked the 96th consecutive quarter – or 24th year – of positive international same store sales growth and the 27th consecutive quarter of positive domestic same store sales growth. The Company also had fourth quarter global net store growth of 422 stores, comprised of 96 net new domestic stores and 326 net new international stores. In fiscal 2017, the Company opened 1,045 net new stores, comprised of 216 net new domestic stores and 829 net new international stores. Fourth quarter diluted EPS was $2.09, up 41.2% over the prior year quarter; fiscal 2017 diluted EPS was $5.83, up 35.6% over the prior year. Fiscal 2017 diluted EPS, as adjusted, was $5.91, up 37.4% over the prior year diluted EPS of $4.30. On February 14, 2018, the Board of Directors declared a 55-cent per share quarterly dividend for shareholders of record as of March 15, 2018 to be paid on March 30, 2018. This represents an increase of approximately 20% over the previous quarterly dividend amount. "Without question, we are pleased with our fourth quarter and full-year 2017 performance – with results that continued to outpace the industry," said J. Patrick Doyle, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our 2017 global retail sales growth and domestic comps outperformed the high-end of our stated three to five-year outlook. This, along with tremendous net store growth and an incredibly low number of closures, helps validate that our long-term fundamental strength is well intact heading into 2018." Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2017 Highlights:

  1. Revenues were up 8.8% for the fourth quarter versus the prior year quarter, due primarily to higher supply chain revenues from increased volumes. Higher royalties derived from our retail sales in both our international and domestic markets also contributed to the increase in revenues. Consolidated revenues also benefited from the positive impact of foreign currency exchange rates.

  2. Net Income increased 28.3% for the fourth quarter versus the prior year quarter, primarily driven by an increase in global royalty revenues as well as higher supply chain volumes. The adoption of the new equity-based compensation accounting standard also positively impacted net income by approximately $6.8 million. See the "Adoption of New Accounting Guidance" section on page three for additional information. Additionally, the pre-tax gain on the sale of certain domestic Company-owned stores to franchisees in the fourth quarter resulted in a $4.0 million decrease to our consolidated general and administrative expenses. These increases were partially offset by a pre-tax $5.3 million increase in net interest expense for the fourth quarter as compared to the prior year as a result of higher net debt levels following our 2017 recapitalization transaction.

  3. Diluted EPS was $2.09 for the fourth quarter versus $1.48 in the prior year quarter. This represents a 61-cent or 41.2% increase over the prior year quarter. This increase was driven by higher net income, as well as lower diluted share count, primarily resulting from share repurchases. About Domino's Pizza® Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on retail sales, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world's top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 14,800 stores in over 85 markets. Domino's had global retail sales of over $12.2 billion in 2017, with more than $5.9 billion in the U.S. and more than $6.3 billion internationally. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Domino's had global retail sales of nearly $4.0 billion, with nearly $1.9 billion in the U.S. and over $2.1 billion internationally. Its system is comprised of independent franchise owners who accounted for over 97% of Domino's stores as of the fourth quarter of 2017. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino's achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2017 from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications. In the U.S., Domino's generates over 60% of sales via digital channels and has produced several innovative ordering platforms, including Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Twitter and text message using a pizza emoji. In late 2017, as part of an industry-first collaboration with Ford Motor Company, Domino's began a meaningful test of delivery using self-driving vehicles.


ArrowUp

Cracker Barrel Reports For Second Quarter Fiscal 2018 And Updates Earning Guidance For Fiscal 2018

Company reports positive comparable restaurant and retail sales. Earnings per diluted share increased 73% on a GAAP basis and 25% on an adjusted basis compared to the prior year. February 20, 2018--LEBANON, TN--(PRNewswire) Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ("Cracker Barrel" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:  CBRL) today reported its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2018 ended January 26, 2018. Second Quarter Fiscal 2018 Highlights

  1. Comparable restaurant sales growth of 1.1% and traffic of -0.9% outperformed the casual dining industry.

  2. Net income was $91.1 million, a 72.9% increase over prior year second quarter net income of $52.7 million.

  3. GAAP diluted earnings per share were $3.79, including a $1.63 per share benefit resulting from the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Tax Act"), compared to $2.19 in the prior year second quarter. Of this $1.63 per share tax benefit, $1.06 resulted from a one-time non-cash revaluation of the Company's net deferred tax liability.

  4. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $2.73 when excluding the non-cash revaluation of the Company's net deferred tax liability. (See non-GAAP reconciliation below.) Commenting on the second quarter, Cracker Barrel President and Chief Executive Officer Sandra B. Cochran said, "I am pleased that we delivered positive comparable store sales in both restaurant and retail, improved upon our first quarter sales results, and outperformed the casual dining industry. Our second quarter operating income margin was pressured by several factors such as expenses related to our initiatives and increased commodity inflation. Our teams continue to make meaningful progress on key business initiatives as we set the foundation for future growth." Second Quarter Fiscal 2018 Results Revenue The Company reported total revenue of $787.8 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2018, representing an increase of 2.0% over the second quarter of the prior year. Cracker Barrel comparable store restaurant sales increased 1.1%, including a 2.0% increase in average check partially offset by a 0.9% decrease in comparable store restaurant traffic. The average menu price increase for the quarter was approximately 2.3%. Comparable store retail sales increased 0.5% from the prior year quarter. Cracker Barrel comparable store restaurant traffic, average check and comparable store restaurant sales and retail sales for the fiscal months of November, December and January and the second quarter were as follows:

Operating Income Operating income in the second quarter was $76.7 million, or 9.7% of total revenue, a decrease from the prior year quarter result of $82.7 million, or 10.7% of total revenue. As a percentage of total revenue, increases in other store operating expenses, cost of goods sold, and general and administrative expenses were partially offset by reductions in labor and related expenses. Diluted Earnings per Share GAAP diluted earnings per share were $3.79, which includes a $1.63 per share benefit from the Tax Act. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $2.73, a $0.54 increase over the prior year second quarter. Taxes The Tax Act, which became effective on January 1, 2018 and prior to the end of our second quarter, lowered the federal statutory corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. This rate change yielded a second quarter blended federal statutory tax rate of 26.9% for the Company. The second quarter effective tax rate was -24.9%, which includes both the change of the statutory rate as well as the full recognition of the tax benefit of certain capitalized assets and a non-cash benefit of approximately $25 million from the revaluation of the Company's net deferred tax liability. Fiscal 2018 Outlook Driven primarily by changes in the anticipated tax rate, the Company now expects to report GAAP earnings per diluted share for the 2018 fiscal year of between $10.35 and $10.55 and adjusted earnings per diluted share for the 2018 fiscal year of between $9.30 and $9.50. The Company continues to anticipate total revenue of approximately $3.1 billion, reflecting the expected opening of eight or nine new Cracker Barrel stores and three new Holler & Dash Biscuit House restaurants. The Company now expects comparable store restaurant sales of between 1.0% and 2.0% and continues to anticipate approximately flat comparable store retail sales. The Company now expects food commodity inflation in the range of 2.5% to 3.0% for the year. The Company projects an operating income margin in the range of 9.5% to 10.0% of total revenue for fiscal 2018. The Company expects depreciation expense between $95 million and $100 million; net interest expense in the range of $15 million and $16 million; and capital expenditures of approximately $150 million to $160 million. The Company now estimates a blended effective tax rate for fiscal 2018 between 11% and 14%. For the full fiscal year, the enactment of the Tax Act will result in a total tax benefit of approximately $45 million to $50 million. The Company plans to reinvest approximately $10 million to $12 million of the tax benefit to further strengthen the brand, support strategic initiatives, and enhance the employee experience. The Company emphasizes these tax estimates are subject to change. The Company's 2018 fiscal year is a 53-week year. The Company estimates the impact of the 53rd week, which is included in its guidance and reflects the anticipated change associated with the Tax Act, to contribute earnings per diluted share of approximately $0.35. The Company expects to report earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of 2018 of between $1.85 and $1.95. The Company reminds investors that its outlook for fiscal 2018 reflects a number of assumptions, many of which are outside the Company's control. About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) shares warm welcomes and friendly service while offering guests high-quality homestyle food and unique shopping – all at a fair price. By creating a world filled with hospitality and charm through an experience that combines dining and shopping, guests are cared for like family. Established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn., Cracker Barrel and its affiliates operate 649 company-owned Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations in 45 states and own the fast-casual Holler and Dash® restaurants. For more information about the company, visit crackerbarrel.com.


Fogo de Chão, Inc. To Be Acquired by Rhône For $15.75 Per Share In Cash February 20, 2018--DALLAS, TX--(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Fogo de Chão, Inc. (“Fogo” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:FOGO) today announced an agreement to be acquired by investment entities affiliated with Rhône Capital (together with its affiliates, “Rhône”). Under the terms of the agreement, Rhône will acquire the Company in an all cash transaction valued at $560 million. The Company’s stockholders will receive $15.75 per share, representing a 25.5 percent premium to the closing share price of the Company’s shares on February 16, 2018. “After a thorough evaluation of the options available, the Board of Directors is confident that this transaction will provide Fogo a significant opportunity to realize the highest value for our stockholders while providing the best path forward for the Fogo de Chão brand, employees, and loyal customers,” said Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão, Inc. “We are excited to enter into a new chapter for the Company and confident that Rhône will be an invaluable partner as they have a proven and distinguished track record of supporting and driving profitable growth for companies around the world.” The transaction is the result of a comprehensive strategic alternatives review process taken by the Company’s Board of Directors. The transaction has been unanimously approved by Fogo’s Board of Directors. Funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and certain of Fogo’s directors and executive officers, which collectively hold more than 60 percent of Fogo’s shares, have approved the transaction by written consent. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the second calendar quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. “We look forward to collaborating with Fogo and its talented management team to continue the growth of this exceptional business. The Fogo experience offers consumers an unsurpassed combination of quality and value in an authentic Brazilian churrascaria environment. We believe our firm’s global experience, relationships, and longstanding and expanding presence in Brazil is a natural complement to the Company and will serve to facilitate Fogo’s domestic and international expansion plans. We look forward to working with Fogo’s management team to drive value for the Company, employees, and customers in this new chapter for the brand,” said Eytan Tigay, Managing Director of Rhône. Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisor to Fogo de Chão. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel to Fogo and its Board of Directors. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as legal advisor to Rhône. Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association are providing financing for the transaction. About Fogo de Chão Fogo de Chão (fogo-dee-shown) is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, which has specialized for nearly 40 years in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco. Fogo delivers a distinctive and authentic Brazilian dining experience through the combination of high-quality Brazilian cuisine and a differentiated service model known as espeto corrido (Portuguese for "continuous service") delivered by gaucho chefs. Fogo offers its guests a tasting menu of a variety of meats including beef, lamb, pork and chicken, simply seasoned and carefully fire-roasted to expose their natural flavors, a gourmet Market Table with seasonal salads, soup and fresh vegetables, seafood, desserts, signature cocktails and an award-winning wine list. The first Fogo de Chão opened in Brazil in 1979. The Company currently operates 38 restaurants in the United States, 9 in Brazil, two joint venture restaurants in Mexico, and two joint venture restaurants in the Middle East (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Dubai). Visit FOGO.com for more information. About Rhône With over 20 years of investing experience, Rhône is a global alternative investment management firm with more than $5 billion in assets under management. The firm focuses its private equity investments in market leading businesses with a pan-European or transatlantic presence and global growth opportunities. Rhône, which is currently investing capital from its fifth private equity fund, has invested in a diversified portfolio of companies including those in the aviation, chemical, consumer product, food, packaging, retail, specialty material, security, business services and transportation sectors.


shake-shack-logo

Shake Shack Fourth Quarter Total Revenue Grew 31.2%Shake Shack Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Ended 2017 Results February 16, 2018--(RestaurantNews) Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK), yesterday reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 27, 2017, periods that included 13 and 52 weeks, respectively. Financial Highlights for the Fourth Quarter 2017:

  1. Total revenue increased 31.2% to $96.1 million.

  2. Shack sales increased 31.3% to $93.1 million.

  3. Same-Shack sales increased 0.8%.

  4. Operating income increased 17.0% to $5.8 million, or 6.1% of total revenue.

  5. Shack-level operating profit*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 30.3% to $23.5 million, or 25.2% of Shack sales.

  6. Net loss was $13.0 million and net loss attributable to Shake Shack Inc. was $14.4 million, or $(0.55) per diluted share, which included $12.7 million of net expense relating to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "TCJA").

  7. Adjusted EBITDA*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 30.7% to $14.9 million.

  8. Adjusted pro forma net income*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 20.0% to $3.9 million, or $0.10 per fully exchanged and diluted share.

  9. 16 system-wide Shack openings, including 11 domestic company-operated Shacks and 5 licensed Shacks. Financial Highlights for the Fiscal Year 2017:

  10. Total revenue increased 33.6% to $358.8 million.

  11. Shack sales increased 33.6% to $346.4 million.

  12. Same-Shack sales decreased 1.2%.

  13. Operating income increased 21.6% to $33.8 million, or 9.4% of total revenue.

  14. Shack-level operating profit*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 25.9% to $92.3 million, or 26.6% of Shack sales.

  15. Net income was $6.9 million and net loss attributable to Shake Shack Inc. was $2.3 million, or $(0.09) per diluted share, which included $12.7 million of net expense relating to the enactment of the TCJA.

  16. Adjusted EBITDA*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 28.7% to $64.7 million.

  17. Adjusted pro forma net income*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 25.4% to $21.0 million, or $0.57 per fully exchanged and diluted share.

  18. 45 net system-wide Shack openings, including 26 domestic company-operated Shacks and 19 net licensed Shacks, representing a net 39.5% increase in system-wide Shack count. * Shack-level operating profit, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted pro forma net income are non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of Shack-level operating profit to operating income, adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss), and adjusted pro forma net income to net income (loss) attributable to Shake Shack Inc., the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP, are set forth in the schedules accompanying this release. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.” Randy Garutti, Chief Executive Officer of Shake Shack, stated, “I'm incredibly proud of our team's achievements throughout 2017. We delivered another year of robust global growth, opening 26 new company-operated domestic Shacks and 19 net licensed Shacks, representing a nearly 40% increase on our base. 2017 marked a milestone year of digital innovation for Shake Shack, with the launch of the Shack app, self-serve kiosks at select locations and several integrated delivery pilots designed to further enhance the guest digital experience. We will continue to build on this momentum into 2018 and beyond.” Garutti concluded, “Looking ahead, 2018 is shaping up to be another exciting year of growth with 32 to 35 new domestic company-operated Shacks, our biggest year of openings to date. We expect 16 to 18 net new licensed Shacks for the year, with a significant portion of our international growth targeted in Asia including our first Shack in Hong Kong. We’re also focused on further strengthening our infrastructure to deliver against the significant long-term opportunity we have in our sights. By the end of 2020, we plan to have more than doubled our 2017 system-wide Shack count and increase our revenue to over $700 million."


USFoods

US Foods Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Earnings February 15, 2018--ROSEMONT, IL--(BusinessWire) US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD), one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, today announced results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017. Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights

  1. Total case volume increased 1.9%; independent restaurant case volume increased 7.1%

  2. Net sales increased 5.6% to $6.0 billion

  3. Gross profit of $1.1 billion increased 4.6%

  4. Operating income increased $66 million to $182 million

  5. Net income of $256 million increased $179 million

  6. Adjusted EBITDA increased 9.4% to $290 million

  7. Diluted EPS of $1.15; Adjusted Diluted EPS of $0.44 Fiscal Year 2017 Highlights

  8. Total case volume increased 2.9%, independent restaurant case volume increased 5.2%

  9. Net sales increased 5.4% to $24.1 billion

  10. Gross profit of $4.2 billion increased 4.1%

  11. Operating income increased $160 million to $574 million

  12. Net income of $444 million increased $234 million

  13. Adjusted EBITDA increased 8.8% to $1.1 billion

  14. Diluted EPS of $1.97; Adjusted Diluted EPS of $1.38 CEO Perspective “We had a strong year and delivered on our commitments to expand Gross profit dollars and grow Adjusted EBITDA,” said Chairman and CEO Pietro Satriano. “Through the continued execution of our Great Food. Made Easy. strategy, we increased sales with our targeted customers, including accelerating quarterly volume growth with Independent Restaurants. In 2018, we will continue to leverage our innovative products, industry-leading technology and value-added services to drive profitable growth.” Fourth Quarter 2017 Results Total case volume increased 1.9% from the prior year, of which 0.9% was organic growth, and independent restaurant case volume increased 7.1%, of which 5.2% was organic growth. The increase in total case volume was driven by strong growth with targeted independent restaurant, healthcare and hospitality customers, partially offset by the planned exit of select national chain customers. Net sales of $6.0 billion increased 5.6% from the prior year, driven by total case volume growth, product mix changes, and year-over-year inflation mainly in produce, beef, dairy and grocery categories. Sales from acquisitions completed in fiscal 2017 increased Net sales by approximately 1.7%. Gross profit of $1.1 billion increased $47 million or 4.6% from the prior year, driven by higher case volumes and margin expansion initiatives, partially offset by higher inbound freight costs related to increases in freight market pricing. Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales was 17.9%. Adjusted Gross profit was $1.1 billion, a 3.9% increase from prior year, driven by higher case volumes and margin expansion initiatives. Adjusted Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales was 17.9%. Operating expenses were $892 million, a decrease of 2.1% from the prior year. Consistent with the third quarter of fiscal 2017, operating expenses benefitted from lower restructuring costs, lower depreciation and amortization expense due to the full amortization of an intangible asset, and ongoing efforts to reduce operating expenses. These benefits were partially offset by incremental expenses related to higher case volumes and wage costs. Adjusted Operating expenses for the quarter were $784 million, a 2.1% increase from the prior year, primarily driven by higher case volumes. Operating income was $182 million, a $66 million increase from the prior year. Net income for the quarter was $256 million, up $179 million from $77 million in the prior year, as a result of the volume, Gross profit and Operating expense factors discussed above as well as benefits from recent U.S. federal income tax legislation. The recent passage of U.S. tax reform legislation resulted in an overall net tax benefit of $118 million in the quarter, which is inclusive of a $173 million non-cash benefit resulting from a favorable adjustment to our deferred income tax liability due to tax reform legislation. Adjusted EBITDA of $290 million increased $25 million, or 9.4% compared to prior year. Diluted EPS was $1.15 and Adjusted Diluted EPS was $0.44. Fiscal Year 2017 Results For the fiscal year, total case volume increased 2.9%, of which 1.7% was organic growth, and independent restaurant case volume increased 5.2%, of which 3.7% was organic growth. The increase in total case volume reflects strong growth with independent restaurant, healthcare and hospitality customers. Net sales of $24.1 billion increased 5.4% from the prior year, primarily driven by higher case volumes, product mix changes and year-over-year inflation in several center of the plate categories as well as produce and grocery. Sales from acquisitions completed in fiscal 2017 increased Net sales by approximately 1.6%. Gross profit of $4.2 billion increased $165 million or 4.1% from the prior year, driven by higher case volumes, favorable customer mix, and margin expansion initiatives, which were partially offset by the adverse year-over-year LIFO reserve changes. Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales was 17.5%. Adjusted Gross profit was $4.2 billion, a 4.9% increase from the prior year, driven by higher case volumes and margin expansion initiatives. Adjusted Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 17.5%. Operating expenses were $3.6 billion, an increase of 0.1% from the prior year. Operating expenses for the year benefitted from lower restructuring costs, lower depreciation and amortization expense due to the full amortization of an intangible asset and ongoing efforts to reduce operating expenses. These benefits were partially offset by incremental expenses related to higher case volumes and wage costs. Adjusted Operating expenses for the year were $3.2 billion, a 3.7% increase from the prior year, primarily driven by higher case volumes. Operating income was $574 million, a $160 million increase from the prior year. Net income for the year was $444 million, up $234 million from $210 million in the prior year, driven by improved business results, lower interest expense and the volume, Gross profit, Operating expense and deferred income tax factors discussed above. Adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 billion increased $86 million, or 8.8% compared to the prior year. Diluted EPS was $1.97 and Adjusted Diluted EPS was $1.38. Cash Flow and Capital Transactions Net cash provided by operating activities for the year was $748 million, an increase of $192 million from the prior year related to the increase in Operating income which was driven by improved business performance and reduced Interest expense. Cash capital expenditures for the year totaled $221 million, an increase of $57 million from prior year, due to the timing of payments made for assets acquired late in the fourth quarter of 2016 and increased capital spending, as planned. In December the company purchased and retired 10 million shares of common stock from its former private equity sponsors as part of the final secondary offering of the company’s common stock. The $280 million repurchase price was funded primarily with borrowings under the company’s secured asset based revolving credit facility. Net Debt at the end of the year was $3.6 billion, a decrease of $13 million versus the end of the prior year. The ratio of Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA was 3.4x at the end of the year, down from 3.8x at the end of the prior year. Outlook for Fiscal Year 2018 For fiscal year 2018 the company expects total case volume growth of 1-2%, Net sales growth of 3-4%, Adjusted EBITDA growth of 6-8% and Adjusted Diluted EPS of $2.00-$2.10. For Q1 fiscal 2018, we expect year-over-year Adjusted EBITDA growth to be approximately 100 basis points below the low end of the range, primarily due to poor weather conditions and timing of the New Year’s holiday. Adjusted EBITDA growth is expected to sequentially accelerate through the fiscal year. The company is also raising its mid-term target for Adjusted EBITDA growth from 7-10% to 8-10%. The company expects fiscal year 2018 Interest expense to be approximately $175-$180 million. Cash capital expenditures during fiscal 2018 are expected to be approximately $250-$260 million, and fleet capital leases are expected to be approximately $80 million. Depreciation and amortization expenses for fiscal year 2018 are expected to be approximately $340-$350 million. The company’s adjusted effective tax rate for fiscal year 2018 is estimated to be approximately 25-26%. About US Foods US Foods is one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed. With nearly 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations, US Foods provides its customers with a broad and innovative food offering and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology and business solutions. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and generates approximately $24 billion in annual revenue. Visit www.usfoods.com to learn more.

 
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