The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announces Q2 FY2016 operating results ended July 30, 2016

YORK, Pa., 2016-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) today (August 18, 2016) reported operating results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 30, 2016, and reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the full year fiscal 2016.

Results for the Second Quarter Ended July 30, 2016

  • Comparable store sales decreased 2.0% as compared with the prior year period.
  • Net loss was $38.7 million, or $1.95 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $39.6 million, or $2.01 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.
  • Adjusted EBITDA totaled $2.5 million, inclusive of $2.2 million of severance costs associated with the Company’s previously announced planned expense reductions and a $2.4 million consulting expense related to cost reduction initiatives. (Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure recognized under generally accepted accounting principles – see the financial table accompanying this release.) Excluding the financial impact of the severance costs and consulting expenses, Adjusted EBITDA would have been $7.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.In the second quarter of fiscal 2015, Adjusted EBITDA was $5.7 million, including a $0.7 million gain associated with an insurance settlement and $1.0 million of severance costs. Excluding the financial impacts of these items, Adjusted EBITDA would have been $6.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.

Kathryn Bufano, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We made progress on a number of our strategic initiatives during the second quarter, although the soft mall traffic trends continued to negatively impact our business.  Importantly, we delivered sales gains in our key growth categories and brands, and drove accelerated double digit growth in our omnichannel business, with a triple digit increase on our mobile site.  In addition, we maintained careful inventory controls, as we reduced inventory by 6% with fewer markdowns.  We also continued to make progress on our cost savings plan.”

Ms. Bufano continued, “Looking ahead, we believe that the Fall assortment will be our best to date.  We also expect that our omnichannel business will continue to deliver strong performance. While we are cognizant that the operating environment remains difficult, we believe that we are well positioned for the back half of the year with a strong merchandising assortment, a compelling marketing program focused on new customer acquisition, and continued discipline in inventory management and cost controls.”

Second Quarter Review
Comparable store sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 decreased 2.0%.  Total sales in the period decreased 2.4% to $542.4 million, compared with $555.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.  Sales increases were achieved in Activewear, Big & Tall, Denim, Young Men’s, Young Contemporary Plus, Women’s Better Handbags, Hard Home and Furniture.

The Company achieved accelerated growth in omnichannel, which reflects sales via its website, mobile site, and its Buy Online Pick Up In-Store and Let Us Find It initiatives, as it continued to successfully leverage its West Jefferson facility and expanded store-fulfillment network.

Other income in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 was $16.3 million, an increase of $0.7 million over the comparable prior year period.  The increase was largely the result of higher revenues associated with the Company’s proprietary credit card operations.  Proprietary credit card sales, as a percentage of total sales, increased 390 basis points to 57.1% in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Gross profit decreased $6.5 million to $198.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016, primarily as a result of decreased sales volume. The gross margin rate in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 was 36.5% of net sales as compared to 36.8% in the same quarter last year.

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 decreased $3.3 million, or 1.5%, to $211.9 million, compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2015. This was largely due to a benefit from a mid-single digit decline in non-customer facing store expenses, partially offset by higher medical claims, as well as severance costs and consulting expenses associated with the Company’s cost reduction initiatives. The SG&A expense rate in the second quarter of 2016 was 39.1% of net sales, an increase of 40 basis points over the prior year, primarily as a result of the decreased sales volume in the period. Excluding the severance and consulting costs in the second quarter of fiscal 2016, as well as the severance costs in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, SG&A expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 decreased $6.9 million from the comparable prior year period, and the SG&A expense rate leveraged 40 basis points, to 38.2%.

As of July 30, 2016 , the Company had approximately $225 million of borrowing capacity under its revolving credit facility and expects to decrease debt by approximately $40 million to $50 million by the end of the year.

Guidance
For fiscal 2016, loss per diluted share is expected to be in a range of $0.95 to $1.45. The Company continues to expect Adjusted EBITDA in a range of$130 million to $140 million.  (As used in this release, Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure recognized under GAAP – see the accompanying financial table which reconciles this non-GAAP measure to net loss.)

ABL Refinancing
As announced earlier this week, the Company successfully closed a new $150 million ABL Term Loan that replaces the existing $100 million A-1 Tranche of the Company’s credit facility and increases the total commitment under the facility to $880 million. The Company will use approximately $75 million of the net proceeds to reduce all amounts currently outstanding under the existing A-1 Tranche of its credit facility which matures in December 2018. The balance of the net proceeds will be used to enhance the Company’s liquidity and retire the remaining approximately $57 million of its Senior Notes due in July 2017.

Call Details
The Company’s quarterly conference call to discuss second quarter fiscal 2016 results will be broadcast live today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time.  Investors and analysts interested in participating in the call are invited to dial (888) 208-1361 at 9:55 a.m. Eastern time and reference conference ID 7684146.  A taped replay of the conference call will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call and will remain available through August 25, 2016.  The number to call for the taped replay is (877) 870-5176 and the replay PIN is 7684146.  The conference call will also be broadcast on the Company’s website at http://investors.bonton.com.  An online archive of the webcast will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call.

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 267 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.  The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.  For further information, please visit the investor relations section of the Company’s website at http://investors.bonton.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information included in this press release contains statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend” or other similar expressions and include the Company’s fiscal 2016 guidance, involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to retail businesses generally; a significant and prolonged deterioration of general economic conditions which could negatively impact the Company in a number of ways, including the potential write-down of the current valuation of intangible assets and deferred taxes; risks related to the Company’s proprietary credit card program; potential increases in pension obligations; consumer spending patterns, debt levels, and the availability and cost of consumer credit; additional competition from existing and new competitors or changes in the competitive environment; inflation; deflation; changes in the costs of fuel and other energy and transportation costs; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; uncertainties associated with expanding or remodeling existing stores; the ability to attract and retain qualified management; the dependence upon relationships with vendors and their factors; a data security breach or system failure; the ability to reduce or control SG&A expenses, including initiatives to reduce expenses and improve efficiency; operational disruptions; unsuccessful marketing initiatives; the ability to expand our capacity and improve efficiency through our new eCommerce fulfillment center; changes in, or the failure to successfully implement, our key strategies, including initiatives to improve our merchandising, marketing and operations; adverse outcomes in litigation; the incurrence of unplanned capital expenditures; the ability to obtain financing for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes; the impact of regulatory requirements including the Health Care Reform Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the inability or limitations on the Company’s ability to favorably adjust the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets; and the financial condition of mall operators.  Additional factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail under Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:
Investor Relations:
Wendy Wilson
414-347-5153
Wendy.Wilson@bonton.com

Source: The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. /GLOBE NEWSWIRE

SpartanNash Company reports Q2 FY2016 financial results

Byron Center, MI, 2016-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — SpartanNash Company (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: SPTN) today (Aug 17th, 2016) reported financial results for the 12-week second quarter and 28-week period ended July 16, 2016.

Second Quarter Results

Consolidated net sales for the 12-week second quarter increased to $1.83 billion from $1.80 billion in the prior year quarter, driven by increases in the food distribution and military segments.

Reported operating earnings were $32.6 million compared to $36.8 million for the prior year quarter primarily due to higher restructuring and asset impairment charges. Adjusted operating earnings improved $2.1 million to $39.3 million from $37.2 million for the prior year quarter due to lower operating expenses resulting from productivity and efficiency initiatives as well as the benefit from increased sales, partially offset by higher health care costs and expenses related to the start-up of new business.

Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (Adjusted EBITDA) was $58.7 million, or 3.2 percent of net sales, compared to $58.5 million, or 3.3 percent of net sales in the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) financial measure. Please see the financial tables at the end of this press release for a reconciliation of net earnings to Adjusted EBITDA, and a reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable measure prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP.

Reported earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter were $17.6 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, compared to $20.3 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter increased to $21.7 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, from $19.8 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Current year adjusted earnings from continuing operations exclude net after-tax charges of $0.11 per diluted share primarily related to asset impairment charges, restructuring activities associated with the Company’s warehouse rationalization plan, and ongoing merger integration activities. Prior year adjusted earnings from continuing operations excluded a net after-tax gain of $0.01 per diluted share related to a benefit associated with tax planning initiatives and net gains on sales of previously closed stores, partially offset by expenses associated with merger integration activities. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations is a non-GAAP operating financial measure.

“We are generally pleased with our execution in the second quarter and the progress we have made operationally and strategically, particularly our ability to grow sales in a challenging operating environment,” stated Dennis Eidson, SpartanNash’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “New business growth and operational efficiencies helped mitigate the impact of deflation on our bottom line. We are also encouraged by our diverse pipeline of sales opportunities and remain on track to achieve our financial objectives for the year. Additionally, we continue to take steps to position the company for growth by: enhancing our merchandising, pricing, and promotional strategies to drive greater customer engagement and improve the overall shopping experience; expanding our organic and private brand product offerings to provide our customers with quality products at affordable prices; investing in select retail markets; and improving operations and expense leverage through our supply chain optimization and merger integration efforts.”

Gross profit margin for the second quarter was 14.4 percent compared to 14.6 percent in the prior year quarter primarily due to changes in the mix of business operations, new business, and deflationary impacts.

Reported operating expenses for the second quarter were $230.1 million, or 12.6 percent of sales, compared to $225.2 million, or 12.5 percent of sales, in the prior year quarter. Second quarter operating expenses would have been $223.4 million, or 12.2 percent of net sales, compared to $224.9 million, or 12.5 percent of net sales in the prior year quarter, if restructuring, asset impairment, and merger integration charges were excluded from both periods and last year’s net gains on property sales and expenses related to tax planning initiatives were excluded. The decrease as a rate to sales would have been primarily due to lower: depreciation expense associated with fully depreciated assets; utility and occupancy costs; and various operating expenses resulting from productivity and efficiency initiatives, partially offset by higher health care costs.

Food Distribution Segment

Net sales for the food distribution segment increased to $820.3 million from $782.7 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to new business gains and growth of existing accounts.

Reported operating earnings for the food distribution segment were $19.2 million compared to $19.4 million in the prior year quarter. Second quarter adjusted operating earnings increased to $21.6 million from $18.5 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was due to improvements from new sales, supply chain optimization efforts, merger synergies and lower depreciation expense partially offset by higher health care costs.

Second quarter adjusted operating earnings exclude $2.4 million of net pre-tax charges consisting of restructuring charges related to the Company’s warehouse optimization plan and merger integration expenses. The prior year second quarter excludes $0.9 million of pre-tax gains related to a legal settlement, net of merger integration costs and professional fees associated with tax planning initiatives. Adjusted operating earnings is a non-GAAP operating financial measure.

Retail Segment

Net sales for the retail segment were $501.8 million in the second quarter compared to $516.1 million for the prior year quarter. The decrease was primarily attributable to a 3.0 percent decrease in comparable store sales, excluding fuel; $9.8 million in lower sales resulting from the closure of retail stores and fuel centers; and $4.1 million due to lower retail fuel prices compared to the prior year; partially offset by contributions from stores acquired in the second quarter of last year.

Comparable store sales reflect the continued challenging economic conditions in select geographies, retail price deflation and competitive store openings, particularly in the Company’s western region.

Reported operating earnings in the retail segment were $10.9 million compared to $13.5 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to asset impairment charges incurred in the current year. Adjusted operating earnings increased to $15.5 million from $14.7 million in the prior year quarter. Current year adjusted operating earnings exclude $4.6 million of pre-tax asset impairment and merger integration charges. The prior year second quarter excludes $1.2 million of pre-tax merger integration and acquisition costs and net gains on the sales of previously closed stores. The increase in adjusted operating earnings was primarily due to improved fuel margins and favorable rebate programs, partially offset by the lower comparable store sales volumes.

During the second quarter, the Company completed one remodel in Michigan and eight remodels in Omaha. Grand re-openings for the Omaha stores, which were re-bannered to Family Fare, were held the first week of the third quarter. SpartanNash ended the quarter with 160 Company-owned retail stores, 79 pharmacies, and 29 fuel centers.

Military Segment

Net sales for the Company’s military segment increased to $505.4 million from $497.0 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was primarily due to new business gains associated with the distribution of fresh products, partially offset by continued lower sales at the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) operated commissaries.

Reported operating earnings for the military segment were $2.5 million compared to $3.9 million in the prior year quarter. The decrease was primarily due to the lack of inflationary gains, higher health care costs, and a shift in business mix. Second quarter adjusted operating earnings were $2.2 million compared to $4.0 million in the prior year period.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Cash flow provided by operating activities for the year-to-date period was $54.7 million, compared to $123.4 million in the comparable period last year. The decrease was primarily due to changes in working capital, particularly around the timing of vendor and income tax payments and increased working capital requirements to support sales growth.

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, including current maturities, were $492.5 million at July 16, 2016 compared to $486.8 million at January 2, 2016. Net long-term debt (including current maturities and capital lease obligations and subtracting cash) for the Company was $468.7 million as of July 16, 2016 compared to $464.1 million at January 2, 2016. The Company’s total net long-term debt-to-capital ratio is 0.4-to-1.0 and net long-term debt to Adjusted EBITDA is 2.0-to-1.0 as of July 16, 2016. Net long-term debt is a non-GAAP financial measure.

Outlook

Mr. Eidson continued, “With current market headwinds and economic conditions likely to persist, particularly in our western geographic areas, we remain focused on operating our business with a disciplined approach. We will continue to implement our initiatives to enhance our merchandising, pricing and promotional strategies, including expanding our organic and private brand product offerings, improving our produce offering, and driving greater customer engagement through our loyalty program. We are excited about the initial roll out of Open Acres™, our new private brand for fresh products, as this will provide our consumers in both Company-owned and independent store locations with quality fresh products at a significant savings. Additionally, we recently completed eight remodels and re-banners to Family Fare in Omaha, Nebraska, improving our offering to the customer while highlighting our variety and value, especially as it relates to produce and private brand, and have been encouraged by the initial customer response. In our combined food distribution and military network, we consolidated our Statesboro, Georgia warehouse facility and continue to look for ways to optimize our supply chain. We also continue to see opportunities to drive new business and growth, including those within the alternative channel space, and we remain dedicated to offering solutions to complicated logistic issues. We will also proactively pursue financially and strategically attractive acquisition opportunities.”

Based on the first half results and outlook for the remainder of the year, the Company is maintaining its previously issued fiscal 2016 guidance of adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of approximately $2.07 to $2.18, excluding merger integration costs and other adjusted charges and gains, compared to $1.98 in the prior year. We anticipate that reported earnings from continuing operations will be in the range of approximately $1.66 to $1.77 per diluted share, compared to $1.67 in the prior year. The guidance is based on expectations for the second half of the year of sales growth in food distribution; continued contributions from new fresh business in the Company’s military division, which will lessen the volume impact of the poor performance at the DeCA operated commissaries; and slightly negative to flat comparable retail store sales, reflecting deflation and the competitive sales environment, partially offset by improvements resulting from capital investments, merchandising initiatives and the cycling of competitive openings. The Company anticipates that fourth quarter adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations will be lower than the prior year due to the significant inflation-related benefit from LIFO realized in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 of approximately $0.07 per diluted share.

The Company continues to expect capital expenditures for fiscal year 2016 to be in the range of $72.0 million to $75.0 million, with depreciation and amortization of approximately $76.0 million to $78.0 million and total interest expense of approximately $18.0 to $20.0 million.

Conference Call

A telephone conference call to discuss the Company’s second quarter of fiscal 2016 financial results is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, August 18, 2016. A live webcast of this conference call will be available on the Company’s website, www.spartannash.com/webcasts. Simply click on “For Investors” and follow the links to the live webcast. The webcast will remain available for replay on the Company’s website for approximately ten days.

About SpartanNash

SpartanNash (SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company and the leading distributor serving U.S. military commissaries and exchanges in the world, in terms of revenue. The Company’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to military commissaries and exchanges and independent and Company-owned retail stores located in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 160 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, and Sun Mart.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These include statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise include the words “outlook,” “pipeline,” “optimistic,” “committed,” “anticipates,” “continue,” “expects,” “look forward,” “guidance,” “opportunities,” “position,” “focus,” or “plan” or similar expressions or that an event or trend “will” occur, or is “beginning.” Forward-looking statements relating to expectations about future results or events are based upon information available to SpartanNash as of today’s date, and are not guarantees of the future performance of the combined company, and actual results may vary materially from the results and expectations discussed. Additional risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the company’s ability to compete in the highly competitive grocery distribution, retail grocery, and military distribution industries. Additional information concerning these and other risks is contained in SpartanNash’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K and other SEC filings. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements concerning SpartanNash, the merger, or other matters and attributable to SpartanNash or any person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements above. SpartanNash does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date hereof.

Investor Contact:
Chris Meyers
Executive Vice President & CFO
(616) 878-8023

Media Contact:
Meredith Gremel
Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications
(616) 878-2830

Source: SpartanNash Company

US Foods to host Q2-FY2016 live conference call and webcast on August 9

Rosemont, Ill., 2016-Aug-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD) will host a live conference call and webcast to discuss Fiscal 2016 second quarter results on Tuesday, August 9 at 9:00 am CDT.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing (855) 788-2805; the conference ID number is 95116637.  Listeners are asked to please dial-in 10 minutes prior to the call start time and provide the conference ID number to be connected.

A replay will be available after the call beginning at noon on August 9, 2016 until August 19, 2016.  To listen to a replay of the conference call via telephone, please dial (855) 859-2056 and provide the conference ID number as listed above.

The conference call will also be webcast live from the company’s Investor Relations website at https://ir.usfoods.com. The presentation slides that will be reviewed during the webcast will be available on the Investor Relations website shortly before the webcast begins.  An archive of the webcast will be available at the same location beginning at noon on August 9, 2016.

About US Foods
US Foods is one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 250,000 chefs, restaurateurs 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 $23 billion in annual revenue. Discover more at www.usfoods.com.

Contact:

Lisa Lecas
Corporate Communications, US Foods
Office: 847-720-8243
Lisa.Lecas@usfoods.com

Source: US Foods Holding Corp.

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. announces financial results for its Q2-FY2016 ended Tuesday, June 28, 2016

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., 2016-Jul-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.(NASDAQ:BJRI) today reported financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended Tuesday, June 28, 2016, and announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $100 million increase to the Company’s share repurchase program.

Second Quarter 2016 Highlights Compared to Second Quarter 2015

  • Total revenues grew 7.9% to $250.3 million
  • Total restaurant operating weeks increased approximately 10%
  • Comparable restaurant sales declined 0.2%
  • Net income increased 10.9% to $13.8 million
  • Diluted net income per share grew 19.5% to $0.56

“Our new restaurant growth, coupled with our successful efficiency initiatives, drove another quarter of record earnings,” commented Greg Trojan, President and CEO.  “Continued success from Project Q, our other ongoing cost savings initiatives and our ability to leverage fixed costs as we further expand our national footprint resulted in a 20 basis point year-over-year increase in operating income margin to 7.8% and healthy restaurant level operating margins of 20.6%.  As a result of the strong operating leverage in our model, combined with the impact of our share repurchases, our 7.9% rise in revenue enabled us to realize a 19.5% growth in diluted net income per share.”

“While industry-wide second quarter comparable restaurant sales were softer than anticipated, we outperformed the industry average.  We are addressing the current operating environment with several menu and marketing initiatives that are planned for the second half of this year.  These menu innovations include the recent additions to our ‘Loaded Burgers’ lineup, a Monday through Thursday daily ‘Brewhouse Special’ and several new items for our very successful ‘Enlightened Menu’ category.  These new ‘Enlighted Menu’ items will focus on today’s more popular ‘superfoods’ and will roll out in the fall.  Additional areas of focus aimed at growing sales over the balance of 2016 include increased engagement with our guests through our loyalty program and mobile app, and a revised marketing plan to introduce the BJ’s brand to guests in our newest markets while further elevating brand awareness in our existing markets.  Most importantly, we continue to drive sales by providing a higher quality, more differentiated casual dining experience for our guests.  We believe our team members’ relentless execution of every detail, during every shift, will support our goal of driving growth for the near and long-term.”

Development Update
In the second quarter of fiscal 2016, BJ’s opened three new restaurants in Pensacola, Florida;Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Lexington, Kentucky, and to date in 2016, the Company has opened seven new restaurants.  Trojan added, “The majority of our fiscal 2016 restaurant openings are in newer markets in the mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and the Northeast, where we believe there is tremendous opportunity to grow our brand.  Our pipeline for new restaurants over the balance of 2016 is in excellent shape as we remain on track to open 18 to 19 new restaurants this year.  We expect to open a total of five new restaurants in the third quarter and up to seven new restaurants in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.  In addition, our development team is making great progress in building a solid pipeline for our fiscal 2017 and 2018 new restaurant openings.  With only 177 restaurants opened as of today, and estimated national capacity for at least 425 BJ’s restaurants, our prospects for near and long-term growth remain strong.”

Share Repurchase Program Update
BJ’s announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a $100 million expansion of the Company’s share repurchase program.  The expansion brings the total amount authorized under the share repurchase program to $350 million.   During the second quarter of 2016, the Company did not repurchase any shares and, with this $100 million increase to the plan, has $129.9 million available under the repurchase authorization. Since the Company’s first share repurchase authorization was approved in April 2014, BJ’s has repurchased and retired approximately 5.5 million shares at a cost of approximately $220.1 million.  “Reflecting our strong operating cash flow and solid balance sheet, we believe BJ’s is well positioned to continue executing our restaurant expansion plan, while simultaneously and opportunistically returning capital to shareholders,” commented Trojan.

Pursuant to the share repurchase authorization, purchases may be made from time to time through various methods in accordance with applicable securities laws, including open market transactions, block trades, accelerated share repurchases, privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, certain of which may be effected pursuant to a trading plan adopted in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The timing and actual amount of shares to be purchased will be subject to management’s evaluation of market conditions, applicable legal requirements, the Company’s ongoing evaluation of its capital position and capital requirements and other factors.  The Company is not obligated to purchase any additional shares under its expanded repurchase program, and repurchases may be suspended or discontinued at any time without prior notice.

Investor Conference Call and Webcast
BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. will conduct a conference call on its second quarter 2016 earnings release today, July 26, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).  Senior management will discuss the financial results and host a question and answer session.  In addition, a live audio webcast of the call will be accessible to the public on the “Investors” page of the Company’s website located at http://www.bjsrestaurants.com and a recording of the webcast will be archived on the site for 30 days following the live event.  Please allow 15 minutes to register and download and install any necessary software.

About BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.
BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. currently owns and operates 177 casual dining restaurants under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse®, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery®, BJ’s Pizza & Grill® and BJ’s Grill® brand names.  BJ’s Restaurants offer an innovative and broad menu featuring award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza complemented with generously portioned salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrees and desserts, including the Pizookie® dessert.  Quality, flavor, value, moderate prices and sincere service remain distinct attributes of the BJ’s experience.  All restaurants feature BJ’s critically acclaimed proprietary craft beers, which are produced at several of the Company’s Restaurant & Brewery locations, its two brewpubs in Texas and by independent third party craft brewers.  The Company’s restaurants are located in the 23 states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Visit BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. on the Web at http://www.bjsrestaurants.com for locations and additional information.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
Certain statements in the preceding paragraphs and all other statements that are not purely historical constitute “forward-looking” statements for purposes of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby.  Such statements include, but are not limited to, those regarding expected comparable restaurant sales and margin growth in future periods, total potential domestic capacity, the success of various sales-building and productivity initiatives, future guest traffic trends, construction cost savings initiatives and the number and timing of new restaurants expected to be opened in future periods.  These “forward-looking” statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results to be materially different from those projected or anticipated.  Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to: (i) our ability to manage an increasing number of new restaurant openings, (ii) construction delays, (iii) labor shortages, (iv) increases in minimum wage and other employment related costs, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (v) the effect of credit and equity market disruptions on our ability to finance our continued expansion on acceptable terms, (vi) food quality and health concerns and the effect of negative publicity about us, our restaurants, other restaurants, or others across the food supply chain, due to food borne illness or other reasons, whether or not accurate, (vii) factors that impact California, where 62 of our current 177 restaurants are located, (viii) restaurant and brewery industry competition, (ix) impact of certain brewing business considerations, including without limitation, dependence upon suppliers, third party contractors and related hazards, (x) consumer spending trends in general for casual dining occasions, (xi) potential uninsured losses and liabilities due to limitations on insurance coverage, (xii) fluctuating commodity costs and availability of food in general and certain raw materials related to the brewing of our craft beers and energy, (xiii) trademark and service-mark risks, (xiv) government regulations and licensing costs, (xv) beer and liquor regulations, (xvi) loss of key personnel, (xvii) inability to secure acceptable sites, (xviii) legal proceedings, (xix) other general economic and regulatory conditions and requirements, (xx) the success of our key sales-building and related operational initiatives, and (xxi) numerous other matters discussed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its recent reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K.  The “forward-looking” statements contained in this press release are based on current assumptions and expectations, and BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or alter its “forward-looking” statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, please contact:

Greg Levin
BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.
(714) 500-2400

JCIR
(212) 835-8500
bjri@jcir.com.

Source: BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.