Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Aug 11, 2016 • 10:00 am ET


Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Brinker International fourth-quarter earnings conference call. At this time all participants have been paced on a listen-only mode. And the floor will be open for your questions and comments following the presentation.

Now I'd like to turn the floor over to your host, Joe Taylor. Sir, the floor is yours.

Joe Taylor

Thank you, Dave. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the quarterly earnings call for Brinker International's fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. I'm Joe Taylor, Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer. And joining me this morning here in Dallas are Wyman Roberts, our Chief Executive Officer, and Tom Edwards, Chief Financial Officer. Our call this morning will begin with comments from both Wyman and Tom, after which we'll open the call to your questions. And of course, before beginning our comments, please let me remind everyone of our Safe Harbor regarding forward-looking statements. During our call, management may discuss certain items which are not based entirely on historical facts. Any such items should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include factors more completely described in this morning's press release and the Company's filings with the SEC. On the call, we may also refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures that management believes in its review of the business and believes will provide insight into the Company's ongoing operations.

With that, I will turn the call over to Wyman.

Wyman Roberts

Thanks, Joe. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us today and thanks to those of you who were able to spend time with us at our investor day in June. I really appreciate your commitment to learning about us and the story here at Brinker. As you would expect, given that short period of time between investor day and the end of the fourth quarter, our results were in line with what we expected. We delivered fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.24, comp sales were down 1.8%, an improvement from down 2% we noted at our June 9 investor day. And the good news there is we continue to gain share versus the industry, and we ended the year running positive to the category. We had a tough year at fiscal 2016. It didn't play out the way we wanted it in terms of sales and traffic, but we were still able to deliver the low end of our EPS guidance, ending the year at $3.55. And just like any other tough challenge, we faced it, we learned a lot from it, and we've used those learnings to shape our strategy going forward. We enter fiscal 17 believing this will continue to be a tough macro environment.

We're not counting on relief from a presidential election or a significant improvement in the economy anytime soon. Until household incomes start to see some absolute