News Release

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. Announces Third Quarter Earnings per Share of $1.17 and Adjusted Earnings per Share of $1.36

October 25, 2017 at 4:05 PM EDT

Increasing 2017 Forecasted GAAP EPS to $4.30 to $4.60 and Adjusted EPS to $4.85to$5.15

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 25, 2017-- Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD) announced today financial results for the third quarter ended September 24, 2017.

Key metrics for the third quarter, versus the same period a year ago, were:

  • Total revenue increased 0.5% to $496.7 million.
  • Company-owned restaurant sales increased 0.5% to $473.0 million.
  • Same-store sales decreased 2.3% at company-owned restaurants and 3.2% at franchise locations.
  • Net earnings decreased 19.7% to $18.2 million from $22.7 million, and earnings per diluted share decreased 5.4% to $1.17 from $1.23.
  • Adjusted net earnings decreased 10.7% to $21.2 million from $23.7 million, and adjusted earnings per diluted share increased 5.4% to $1.36 from $1.29.

Sally Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our teams are executing on the cost initiatives of our fiscal fitness program and we exceeded our goal in the third quarter. These savings helped deliver adjusted income from operations above our expectations. The recent Tuesday promotion shift from traditional to boneless wings at company-owned restaurants will continue to improve cost of sales while traditional wing prices remain elevated. Combined with our cost savings initiatives and service excellence focus, we are optimistic these actions will deliver an improving bottom line."

Revenue

  • Total revenue increased $2.5 million to $496.7 million in the third quarter, compared to $494.2 million in the third quarter of 2016. Revenue includes the recognition of $2.9 million of deferred revenue, as the company established an initial breakage estimate for the Blazin' Rewards loyalty program.
  • Company-owned restaurant sales for the third quarter increased 0.5% over the same period in 2016 to $473.0 million, driven by 21 additional company-owned restaurants.
  • Franchise royalties and fees increased 1.0% to $23.7 million for the quarter, versus $23.5 million in the third quarter of 2016, driven by 31 additional franchised restaurants.

Expenses

  • Cost of sales for the third quarter was 30.8% of restaurant sales, compared to 28.9% in the quarter last year, driven by higher traditional chicken wing prices.
    • Traditional wings were $2.16 per pound in the third quarter, representing a $0.44 increase, or 25.6% above last year's third quarter average of $1.72. Traditional wings as a percent of cost of sales was 28.8% in the third quarter.
  • Cost of labor for the third quarter was 31.4% of restaurant sales, 70 basis points lower than third quarter last year, driven primarily by 40 basis points of favorable hourly labor, 50 basis points from an out-of-period benefits adjustment, partially offset by wage inflation.
  • Restaurant operating expenses as a percentage of restaurant sales were 15.2%, 40 basis points lower than third quarter of 2016, driven by favorable insurance and repair and maintenance expenses.
  • Occupancy costs were 6.0% as a percentage of restaurant sales, 20 basis points higher compared to the same quarter last year based on sales deleveraging.
  • Restaurant-level profit was $78.5 million, or 16.6%, of restaurant sales, compared to $82.8 million, or 17.6%, in the third quarter last year.
  • Depreciation and amortization expense for the third quarter was $37.8 million, decreasing 1.5% from the prior year.
  • General and administrative expenses were $31.1 million in the third quarter, decreasing 3.8% from the same period last year, due to decreased salaries and travel expenses.
    • Stock-based compensation was $2.4 million in the third quarter, compared to $0.3 million of expense in the prior year, which included a reversal of previously recognized expense.
  • Total savings achieved from the company's fiscal fitness program in the third quarter were $9.2 million and $15.3 million year-to-date in 2017.
  • Preopening expenses for the quarter totaled $0.9 million, versus $1.5 million in the third quarter last year, due to 4 openings this year versus 9 last year.
  • Loss on asset disposal for the third quarter totaled $4.1 million, compared to last year of $1.4 million. The 2017 expense includes impairment of two restaurants totaling $2.2 million and the write-off of prepaid software licenses of approximately $1 million.
  • Interest expense was $3.8 million in the third quarter, compared to $0.9 million in the prior year period.
  • The effective tax rate during the quarter was 27.3%, compared to 30.4% in the prior year, due to the benefit of employee tax credits.

Earnings

  • Income from operations was $28.4 million in the third quarter, or 5.7% of total revenue, compared to $32.8 million and 6.6% in the prior year. For the year to date period, income from operations was $71.6 million, or 4.7% of total revenue, compared to $114.9 million and 7.7% in the prior year.
  • Adjusted income from operations was $32.5 million in the third quarter, or 6.6% of total revenue, versus $34.4 million and 7.0% in the same quarter of 2016. For the year to date period, adjusted income from operations was $88.5 million, or 5.8% of total revenue, versus $119.6 million and 8.0% in 2016.
  • Net earnings decreased 19.7% to $18.2 million in the third quarter, versus $22.7 million in the third quarter of 2016. For the year to date period, net earnings decreased 38.7% to $48.5 million, versus $79.1 million in 2016.
  • Earnings per diluted share were $1.17, compared to third quarter 2016 earnings per diluted share of a $1.23. Earnings per diluted share decreased 29.7% to $2.98 for the year to date period, compared to $4.24 in the same period last year.
  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $1.36, compared to third quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.29. Adjusted earnings per diluted share for the year to date period decreased 21.5% to $3.47, compared to $4.42 in the same period last year.

Balance Sheet

  • Cash totaled $30.7 million at the end of the third quarter.
  • The revolving credit facility had an outstanding balance of $385 million as of the end of the quarter.

Cash Flow

  • Cash flow from operations was $43.2 million for the quarter, a 33.1% decrease over the third quarter last year. For the year-to-date period, cash flow from operations was $141.9 million, a 33.7% decrease over 2016.
  • Capital expenditures in the quarter were $25.0 million compared to $47.2 million in the prior year.
  • Free cash flow in the third quarter was $18.2 million, compared to $17.3 million in the prior year. Free cash flow in the year to date period was $82.4 million, compared to $96.1 million in the same period of the prior year.

2017 Outlook

The company expects approximately the following new unit development in 2017:

  • 14 company-owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in the United States, with 5 in the fourth quarter
  • 15 franchised Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the United States, with 3 in the fourth quarter
  • 20 franchised Buffalo Wild Wing locations internationally, with 10 in the fourth quarter
  • 2 company-owned and 10 franchised R Taco restaurants

The company expects the following in 2017:

  • Same-store sales growth of approximately -1.5%
  • Traditional chicken wing inflation of 10% to 11%
  • Depreciation and amortization expense of $151 to $152 million
  • General and administrative expense of $133 to $135 million, including stock-based compensation of $8 to $9 million
  • Interest expense of approximately $14 million
  • Earnings per diluted share of $4.30 to $4.60
  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share of $4.85 to $5.15
  • Capital expenditures of approximately $80 million

Buffalo Wild Wings will be hosting a conference call today, October 25, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time to discuss these results. There will be a simultaneous webcast conducted at our investor website IR.BuffaloWildWings.com.

A replay of the call will be available until November 1, 2017. To access this replay, please dial 1-412-317-6671 password 8206882.

About the Company

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., founded in 1982 and headquartered in Minneapolis, is a growing owner, operator and franchisor of Buffalo Wild Wings® restaurants featuring a variety of boldly-flavored, made-to-order menu items including its namesake Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings. The Buffalo Wild Wings menu specializes in 21 mouth-watering signature sauces and seasonings with flavor sensations ranging from Sweet BBQ™ to Blazin’®. Guests enjoy a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere that includes an extensive multi-media system for watching their favorite sporting events. Buffalo Wild Wings is the recipient of hundreds of "Best Wings" and "Best Sports Bar" awards from across the country. There are currently more than 1,240 Buffalo Wild Wings locations around the world.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest events and offers for sports fans and wing lovers, like Buffalo Wild Wings on Facebook, follow @BWWings on Twitter and visit www.buffalowildwings.com.

Forward-looking Statements

Various remarks we make about future expectations, plans, and prospects for the company constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to our future financial and restaurant performance measures and growth goals, including but not limited to those relating to our fourth quarter trends, projected unit and net earnings growth rates, projected capital expenditures and expected adjustments to the same. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements and are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management. We have attempted to identify forward-looking statements by terminology, including “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “goal,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “should,” “scheduled,” or “will” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Actual results may vary materially from those contained in forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, the ability of our franchisees to open and manage new restaurants, market acceptance in the new geographic regions we enter (particularly international locations), success of acquired restaurants, success of investments in new or emerging concepts, unforeseen obstacles in developing nontraditional sites or non-U.S. locations, our ability to obtain and maintain licenses and permits necessary to operate our existing and new restaurants, our franchisees’ adherence to our system standards, the cost of commodities such as traditional chicken wings, supply chain consistency, the success of our key initiatives and our advertising and marketing campaigns, our ability to control restaurant labor and other restaurant operating costs, the continued service of key management personnel, our ability to protect our name and logo and other proprietary information, economic conditions (including changes in consumer preferences or consumer discretionary spending), the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our employees, the sale of food and alcoholic beverages, the effect of competition in the restaurant industry, and other factors disclosed from time to time in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the factors described under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 25, 2016, as updated in subsequent reports filed with the SEC. Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS

(Dollar and share amounts in thousands except per share data)

(unaudited)

   
Three months ended Nine months ended
September 24,   September 25, September 24,   September 25,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Revenue:
Restaurant sales $ 472,956 470,648 1,457,826 1,421,142
Franchise royalties and fees 23,744   23,519   73,617   71,460  
Total revenue 496,700   494,167   1,531,443   1,492,602  
Costs and expenses:
Restaurant operating costs:
Cost of sales 145,645 136,185 458,360 418,488
Labor 148,417 150,813 463,775 449,317
Operating 71,981 73,435 224,149 211,295
Occupancy 28,439 27,396 85,028 81,324
Depreciation and amortization 37,766 38,345 114,746 113,847
General and administrative 31,054 32,264 102,961 93,750
Preopening 856 1,490 2,360 5,191
Loss on asset disposals and impairment 4,118   1,393   8,474   4,489  
Total costs and expenses 468,276   461,321   1,459,853   1,377,701  
Income from operations 28,424 32,846 71,590 114,901
Interest expense 3,814 885 9,506 2,571
Other income (203 ) (357 ) (4,983 ) (196 )
Earnings before income taxes 24,813 32,318 67,067 112,526
Income tax expense 6,775   9,814   18,993   33,799  
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests 18,038   22,504   48,074   78,727  
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests (142 ) (147 ) (437 ) (399 )
Net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings $ 18,180   22,651   48,511   79,126  
Earnings per common share – basic $ 1.17 1.24 2.99 4.25
Earnings per common share – diluted $ 1.17 1.23 2.98 4.24
Weighted average shares outstanding – basic 15,502 18,296 16,216 18,609
Weighted average shares outstanding – diluted 15,572 18,353 16,269 18,650
 

The following table expresses results of operations as a percentage of total revenue for the periods presented, except for restaurant operating costs which are expressed as a percentage of restaurant sales:

  Three months ended   Nine months ended
September 24,   September 25, September 24,   September 25,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Revenue:
Restaurant sales 95.2 % 95.2 % 95.2 % 95.2 %
Franchise royalties and fees 4.8   4.8   4.8   4.8  
Total revenue 100.0   100.0   100.0   100.0  
Costs and expenses:
Restaurant operating costs:
Cost of sales 30.8 28.9 31.4 29.4
Labor 31.4 32.0 31.8 31.6
Operating 15.2 15.6 15.4 14.9
Occupancy 6.0 5.8 5.8 5.7
Depreciation and amortization 7.6 7.8 7.5 7.6
General and administrative 6.3 6.5 6.7 6.3
Preopening 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3
Loss on asset disposals and impairment 0.8   0.3   0.6   0.3  
Total costs and expenses 94.3   93.4   95.3   92.3  
Income from operations 5.7 6.6 4.7 7.7
Interest expense 0.8 0.2 0.6 0.2
Other income 0.0   (0.1 ) (0.3 ) 0.0  
Earnings before income taxes 5.0 6.5 4.4 7.5
Income tax expense 1.4   2.0   1.2   2.3  
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests 3.6   4.6   3.1   5.3  
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests (0.0 ) (0.0 ) (0.0 ) (0.0 )
Net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings 3.7 % 4.6 % 3.2 % 5.3 %
 

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Dollar amounts in thousands)

(unaudited)

   
September 24, December 25,
2017 2016
Assets
Current assets:
Cash $ 30,685 49,266
Accounts receivable, net of allowance of $251 42,380 34,225
Inventory 14,688 16,532
Prepaid expenses 10,126 9,075
Refundable income taxes 2,109 1,018
Restricted assets 23,314   66,471  

Total current assets

123,302 176,587
 
Property and equipment, net 541,706 592,806
Reacquired franchise rights, net 109,035 118,973
Other assets 39,215 41,625
Goodwill 117,228   117,228  
Total assets $ 930,486   1,047,219  
 
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
Current liabilities:
Deferred revenue $ 6,892 3,089
Accounts payable 40,857 45,797
Accrued compensation and benefits 33,982 47,304
Accrued expenses 31,043 32,347
Current portion of long-term debt and capital lease obligations 4,627 3,745
Current portion of deferred lease credits 4,736 873
System-wide payables 54,570   108,814  
Total current liabilities 176,707 241,969
 
Long-term liabilities:
Other liabilities 16,828 16,109
Deferred income taxes 12,937 21,588
Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, net of current portion 420,376 205,312
Deferred lease credits, net of current portion 40,803   44,341  
Total liabilities 667,651   529,319  
 
Commitments and contingencies
Stockholders’ equity:
Undesignated stock, 1,000,000 shares authorized, none issued
Common stock, no par value. Authorized 44,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding 15,512,253 and 17,462,465 shares, respectively 142,657 147,234
Retained earnings 124,314 374,683
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (3,560 ) (3,878 )
Total stockholders’ equity 263,411   518,039  
Noncontrolling interests (576 ) (139 )
Total equity 262,835   517,900  
Total liabilities and equity $ 930,486   1,047,219  
 

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(Dollar amounts in thousands)

(unaudited)

 
Nine months ended
September 24,   September 25,
2017 2016
Cash flows from operating activities:
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests $ 48,074 78,727
Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by operations:
Depreciation and amortization 114,746 113,847
Loss on asset disposals and impairment 8,474 4,489
Deferred lease credits 2,095 4,095
Deferred income taxes (8,958 ) 962
Stock-based compensation 6,465 2,453
Excess tax benefit from stock issuance 57
Change in fair value of contingent consideration 359 (1,591 )
Gain on sale of investment in affiliate (5,692 )
Loss on investments in affiliate 1,488 1,904
Change in operating assets and liabilities, net of effect of acquisitions:
Accounts receivable (11,042 ) (5,025 )
Inventory 1,872 1,954
Prepaid expenses (1,496 ) (1,273 )
Other assets (1,777 ) (4,450 )
Deferred revenue 3,803 477
Accounts payable (3,030 ) 6,465
Income taxes (1,091 ) 20,991
Accrued expenses (12,365 ) (10,145 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 141,925   213,937  
Cash flows from investing activities:
Acquisition of property and equipment (59,552 ) (117,850 )
Acquisition of businesses (3,862 )
Purchase of marketable securities (488 )
Proceeds from marketable securities 1,205
Proceeds from sale of investment in affiliate 8,126    
Net cash used in investing activities (51,426 ) (120,995 )
Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from revolving credit facility 370,000 464,521
Repayments of revolving credit facility (155,000 ) (440,448 )
Borrowings from (payments to) restricted funds (9,468 ) 1,478
Repurchases of common stock (312,249 ) (105,852 )
Other financing activities (2,347 ) (1,557 )
Issuance of common stock 3,514 2,199
Excess tax benefit from stock issuance (57 )
Tax payments for restricted stock units (3,861 ) (9,317 )
Net cash used in financing activities (109,411 ) (89,033 )
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash 331   (371 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash (18,581 ) 3,538
Cash at beginning of period 49,266   11,220  
Cash at end of period $ 30,685   14,758  
 

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

Supplemental Information

       

Restaurant Count

 

Company-owned Restaurants (includes Buffalo Wild Wings, R Taco, and Buffalo Wild Wings-owned PizzaRev locations):

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2017 634 635 638
2016 603 609 617 631
2015 501 517 573 596
2014 443 449 463 491
2013 397 407 415 434
 

Franchised Restaurants (includes Buffalo Wild Wings and R Taco locations):

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2017 616 624 633
2016 587 596 602 609
2015 593 593 569 579
2014 569 579 588 591
2013 514 525 534 559
 

Restaurant Count Rollforward:

 
Nine Months Ended
September 24, 2017   September 25, 2016
Corporate   Franchise   Total Corporate   Franchise   Total
Buffalo Wild Wings
Beginning of period 621 602 1,223 590 573 1,163
Opened 9 22 31 19 25 44
Acquired 1 (1)
Closed/Relocated (2) (5) (7) (2) (2) (4)
End of period 628 619 1,247 608 595 1,203
R Taco
Beginning of period 8 7 15 4 6 10
Opened 2 7 9 3 1 4
Acquired
Closed/Relocated
End of period 10 14 24 7 7 14
PizzaRev
Beginning of period 2 n/a 2 2 n/a 2
Opened n/a n/a
Acquired n/a n/a
Closed/Relocated (2) n/a (2) n/a
End of period n/a 2 n/a 2
Consolidated            
End of the period 638 633 1,271 617 602 1,219
 

BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

Supplemental Information

         

Same-Store Sales at Buffalo Wild Wings in United States and Canada

 

Company-owned Restaurants:

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2017 0.5% (1.2%) (2.3%)
2016 (1.7%) (2.1%) (1.8%) (4.0%) (2.4%)
2015 7.0% 4.2% 3.9% 1.9% 4.2%
2014 6.6% 7.7% 6.0% 5.9% 6.5%
2013 1.4% 3.8% 4.8% 5.2% 3.9%
 

Franchised Restaurants:

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2017 0.6% (2.1%) (3.2%)
2016 (2.4%) (2.6%) (1.6%) (3.9%) (2.7%)
2015 6.0% 2.5% 1.2% 0.1% 2.5%
2014 5.0% 6.5% 5.7% 5.1% 5.6%
2013 2.2% 4.1% 3.9% 3.1% 3.3%
 

Average Weekly Sales Volumes at Buffalo Wild Wings locations in United States and Canada

 

Company-owned Restaurants:

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2017 $ 62,970 58,912 57,930
2016 62,829 59,894 59,690 59,120 60,366
2015 64,851 61,960 61,831 61,971 62,529
2014 60,966 59,403 59,643 62,119 60,470
2013 56,953 54,759 55,592 58,204 56,392
 

Franchised Restaurants:

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year

2017 $ 65,713 61,217 59,964
2016 65,636 62,454 61,497 61,397 62,662
2015 67,075 63,904 62,819 64,032 64,474
2014 63,852 61,845 61,586 63,949 62,595
2013 60,050 58,186 58,926 61,167 59,594
 

Restaurant-Level Profit and Restaurant-Level Margin

Restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin are neither required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and are non-GAAP financial measures. Restaurant-level profit is defined restaurant sales less restaurant operating costs (cost of sales, labor, operating, and occupancy expense). Restaurant-level margin is defined as restaurant-level profit as a percentage of restaurant sales. Restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin have limitations as analytical tools, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management believes the restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin are important tools for investors because they are widely-used metrics within the restaurant industry to evaluate restaurant-level productivity, efficiency and performance. Management uses restaurant-level profit and restaurant-level margin as key performance indicators to evaluate the profitability of company-owned restaurants.

A reconciliation of restaurant sales to restaurant-level margin is provided below:

       
Three months ended Nine months ended
September 24, September 25, September 24, September 25,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Restaurant sales $ 472,956 470,648 1,457,826 1,421,142
Restaurant operating costs 394,482   387,829   1,231,312   1,160,424  
Restaurant-level profit 78,474   82,819   226,514   260,718  
Restaurant-level margin 16.6 % 17.6 % 15.5 % 18.3 %
 

EBITDA

Earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is not required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and is a non-GAAP financial measure. The Company defines EBITDA as net earnings including non-controlling interests plus interest expense, income tax expense, and depreciation and amortization. EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management utilizes this metric as a basis for evaluating our ongoing operations, and believes investors' understanding of our performance is enhanced by including this non-GAAP financial measure as a reasonable basis for evaluating our ongoing results of operations, without the effects of interest, taxes, and depreciation and amortization.

A reconciliation of net earnings including noncontrolling interests to EBITDA is provided below:

       
Three months ended Nine months ended
September 24, September 25, September 24, September 25,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Net earnings including noncontrolling interests $ 18,038 22,504 48,074 78,727
Income tax expense 6,775 9,814 18,993 33,799
Interest expense 3,814 885 9,506 2,571
Depreciation and amortization 37,766   38,345   114,746   113,847
EBITDA $ 66,393   71,548   191,319   228,944
 

Adjusted Net Earnings and Adjusted Earnings per Diluted Share (Adjusted EPS)

Adjusted net earnings and adjusted earnings per diluted share are not required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and are non-GAAP financial measures. The Company defines adjusted earnings diluted per share as adjusted net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings divided by our weighted diluted average shares outstanding. Adjusted net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings is calculated as earnings before income taxes plus loss on asset disposals and impairment (excluding store closing reserve costs), proxy costs for contested election, advisory and consulting fees, restructuring costs, acquisition costs, and divestiture costs less gain on sale of investment in affiliate. This amount is then adjusted for an estimated income tax expense and net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests. Adjusted net earnings and adjusted earnings per diluted share have limitations as analytical tools, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management utilizes these metrics as a basis for evaluating our ongoing operations, and believes investors' understanding of our performance is enhanced by including these non-GAAP financial measures as a reasonable basis for evaluating our ongoing results of operations, without the effects of certain non-recurring or non-cash items. Excluding loss on asset disposals and impairment, all adjustments to earnings before income taxes are considered non-recurring.

       
Three months ended   Nine months ended
September 24, September 25, September 24, September 25,
2017   2016   2017   2016
Earnings before income taxes (a) $ 24,813 32,318 67,067 112,526
Loss on asset disposals and impairment (b) 4,118 1,352 8,379 4,415
Proxy costs for contested election (c) 178 5,901 178
Advisory and consulting fees, and restructuring(d) 2,502
Gain on sale of investment in affiliate (e) (5,692 )
Acquisition costs (f) 145
Divestiture costs (g)       80      
Adjusted earnings before income taxes 28,931 33,848 78,237 117,264
Estimated income tax expense (h) 7,899   10,279     22,156     35,222  
Adjusted earnings including noncontrolling interests 21,032 23,569 56,081 82,042
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests (a) (142 ) (147 )   (437 )   (399 )
Adjusted net earnings attributable to Buffalo Wild Wings $ 21,174   23,716     56,518     82,441  
Weighted average shares outstanding – diluted (a) 15,572 18,353 16,269 18,650
Adjusted earnings per diluted share $ 1.36 1.29 3.47 4.42
 

(a)

  Equals the amounts shown on our consolidated statements of earnings.

(b)

Consists of loss on asset disposals and impairments, excluding store closing reserve costs of $0 and $41, for the three-month periods ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, respectively. Consists of loss on asset disposals and impairments, excluding store closing reserve costs of $95 and $74, for the nine-month periods ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, respectively.

(c)

Consists of costs related to the advisory fees and preparation of proxy materials in a contested election for the board of directors.

(d)

Consists of costs related to consulting services pertaining to the identification of best practices and improving efficiencies, and organizational restructuring costs.

(e)

Consists of the gain recorded from the sale of our investment in affiliate, Pie Squared Holdings.

(f)

Consists of costs associated with an acquisition of a franchise-owned store.

(g)

Consists of costs associated with the proposed divestiture of company-owned stores.

(h)

Our effective tax rates for the three-month periods ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016 were 27.3% and 30.4%, respectively. Our effective tax rates for the nine-month periods ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016 were 28.3% and 30.0%, respectively. The calculated estimated income tax expense is based on these rates.
 

Adjusted Income from Operations

Adjusted income from operations is not required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and is a non-GAAP financial measure. The Company defines adjusted income from operations as income from operations plus loss on asset disposals and impairment (excluding store closing reserve costs), proxy costs for contested election, advisory and consulting fees, restructuring costs, acquisition costs, and divestiture costs. Adjusted income from operations has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management utilizes this metric for incentive compensation and as a basis evaluating our ongoing operations, and believes investors' understanding of our performance is enhanced by including this non-GAAP financial measure as a reasonable basis for evaluating our ongoing results of operations, without the effects of certain non-recurring or non-cash items. Excluding loss on asset disposals and impairment, all adjustments to income from operations are considered non-recurring.

       
Three months ended   Nine months ended
September 24, September 25, September 24, September 25,
2017   2016   2017   2016
Income from operations (a) $ 28,424 32,846 71,590 114,901
Loss on asset disposals and impairment (b) 4,118 1,352 8,379 4,415
Proxy costs for contested election (c) 178 5,901 178
Advisory and consulting fees, and restructuring(d) 2,502
Acquisition costs (e) 145
Divestiture costs (f)         80    
Adjusted income from operations 32,542 34,376 88,452 119,639
 

(a)

  Equals the amounts shown on our consolidated statements of earnings.

(b)

Consists of loss on asset disposals and impairments, excluding store closing reserve costs of $0 and $41, for the three-month periods ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, respectively. Consists of loss on asset disposals and impairments, excluding store closing reserve costs of $95 and $74, for the nine-month periods ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, respectively.

(c)

Consists of costs related to the advisory fees and preparation of proxy materials in a contested election for the board of directors.

(d)

Consists of costs related to consulting services pertaining to the identification of best practices and improving efficiencies, and organizational restructuring costs.

(e)

Consists of costs associated with an acquisition of a franchise-owned store.

(f)

Consists of costs associated with the proposed divestiture of company-owned stores.

Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow is not required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and is a non-GAAP financial measure. The Company defines free cash flow as net cash provided operating activities minus acquisition of property and equipment. Free cash flow has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management utilizes this metric, and also believes investors' understanding of our performance is enhanced by including this non-GAAP financial measure, as a basis for evaluating our cash flow available after capital expenditures.

   
Nine months ended
September 24, 2017 September 25, 2016
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 141,925 213,937
Acquisition of property and equipment (59,552 ) (117,850 )
Free cash flow $ 82,373   96,087  
 

Adjusted Earnings per Diluted Share Forecast

Adjusted earnings per diluted share is not required by, nor presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and is a non-GAAP financial measure. The Company defines adjusted earnings per diluted share as diluted earnings per share on a U.S. GAAP basis, plus diluted earnings per share impacts of loss on tangible and intangible asset disposals and impairment, costs related to the advisory fees and preparation of proxy materials in a contested election for the board of directors, and costs related to consulting services pertaining to the identification of best practices and improving efficiencies. Adjusted earnings per diluted share has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be evaluated in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Management utilizes this metric to forecast and evaluate our ongoing operations, and believes investors' understanding of our performance is enhanced by including this non-GAAP financial measure as a reasonable basis for forecasting and evaluating our ongoing results of operations, without the effects of certain non-recurring or non-cash items. Excluding loss on asset disposals and impairment, all adjustments to earnings before income taxes are considered non-recurring.

  Twelve months ending December 31, 2017
Low Projection   High Projection
Earnings per diluted share forecast (a) $ 4.30 4.60
Loss on asset disposals and impairment (b) 0.43 0.43
Proxy costs for contested election(c) 0.26 0.26
Advisory and consulting fees, and restructuring costs (d) 0.11 0.11
Gain on sale of investment in affiliate (e) (0.25 ) (0.25 )
Adjusted earnings per diluted share forecast (f) $ 4.85 5.15
 

(a)

  Equals the projected earnings per diluted share on a U.S. GAAP basis for fiscal year 2017.

(b)

Consists of the projected earnings per diluted share impact of our loss on tangible and intangible asset disposals and impairment for fiscal year 2017.

(c)

Consists of the projected earnings per diluted share impact of costs related to the advisory fees and preparation of proxy materials in a contested election for the board of directors.

(d)

Consists of the projected earnings per diluted share impact of costs related to consulting services pertaining to the identification of best practices and improving efficiencies, and organizational restructuring costs for fiscal year 2017.

(e)

Consists of the projected earnings per diluted share impact of the gain recorded from the sale of our investment in affiliate, Pie Squared Holdings.

(f)

This estimate assumes diluted weighted average shares outstanding of 16,112 for fiscal year 2017.

Source: Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.
Investor Relations Contact:
Heather Davis, 952-540-2095