Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Oct 29, 2018 • 04:30 pm ET

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Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Wingstop Inc. Fiscal Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) Please note that this conference is being recorded today, Monday, October 29, 2018.On the call, we have Charlie Morrison, Chairman and CEO; and Michael Skipworth, EVP and CFO.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Michael. Please go ahead.

Executive
Michael Skipworth

Thank you, and welcome. By now, everyone should have access to our fiscal third quarter 2018 earnings release, which has been posted to the Investor Relations tab on our website wingstop.com.

Please note that our discussion today will include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and, therefore, you should not place undue reliance on them. These statements are also subject to numerous risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect.

Our recent SEC filings contain a detailed discussion of the risk that could affect our future operating results and financial condition. We will also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures that we believe can be useful in evaluating our performance. The presentation of this additional information should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations to comparable GAAP measures are contained in our earnings release.

And with that, I'd like turn the call over to Charlie.

Executive
Charles Morrison

Thank you, Michael and good afternoon. As always, we appreciate your interest in Wingstop and your participation in our quarterly conference call. As noted in our earnings release, which hit the wire a few minutes ago, our third quarter performance was exceptional. The continued strength in our business has once again allowed us to deliver on our shareholders' expectations. With this momentum and the strong performance year-to-date, we are well positioned for 2018 to be our 15th consecutive year of positive same-store sales growth, an achievement we believe is unmatched in the industry.

For the third quarter, total system-wide sales rose 15.1% driven by a 6.3% increase in domestic same-store sales and system-wide unit growth of nearly 12%. Consistent with what we've shared with you on our previous quarterly calls, our new unit development continues to strengthen during 2018, as our domestic franchisees accelerate their investment in Wingstop.

During the quarter, we opened 27 net new restaurants and ended the quarter with 1,215 locations worldwide. We remain confident in delivering strong unit growth driven by the momentum in the number of new restaurant commitments sales as well as the healthiness of our existing pipeline. In our second quarter call, we told you that our third quarter to date comp was 4.5% and noted that the third quarter 2018 would be a tougher compared to the prior year. We were encouraged by the acceleration we saw in the comp for the balance of the third quarter, largely driven by transaction growth resulting in 6.3% same store sales growth for the full quarter. Our comp continues to reflect some above