Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Apr 02, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET

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Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Operator
Operator

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Results Conference Call. Today's call is being hosted by Brian Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer. I would like to remind everybody that this call is being recorded and will be available for replay beginning later today.

Now, I would like to turn the conference over to Arvind Bhatia, Senior Director of Investor Relations, for opening remarks.

Executive
Arvind Bhatia

Thank you, James, and thank you all for joining us. On the call today are Brian Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer; and Joe DeProspero, Interim Chief Financial Officer. After comments from Mr. Jenkins and Mr. DeProspero, we will be happy to take your questions. This call is being recorded on behalf of Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. and is copyrighted.

Before we begin our discussion of the company's results, I'd like to call your attention to the fact that in our remarks and our responses to your questions, certain items may be discussed which are not based entirely on historical facts. Any such items should be considered forward-looking statements and relating to future events within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those anticipated. Information on the various risk factors and uncertainties has been published in our filings with the SEC, which are available on our website at www.daveandbusters.com under the Investor Relations section.

In addition, our remarks today will include references to EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and store operating income before depreciation and amortization, which are financial measures that are not defined under generally accepted accounting principles. Investors should review the reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the comparable GAAP results contained in our earnings announcement released this afternoon, which is also available on our website.

Now, I will turn the call over to Brian.

Executive
Brian Jenkins

Thank you, Arvind. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining our call today. While 2018 marked a year of meaningful progress on our strategic priorities, we delivered sequential improvement and comp sales throughout the year and drove strong new store performance, leading to our eighth consecutive year of record sales and EBITDA. We also returned significant value to our shareholders in 2018 through nearly $150 million in share repurchases and by instituting a quarterly cash dividend. And today, we also announced that our Board has authorized to expand our share repurchase program by an additional $200 million.

With respect to the fourth quarter, I'm pleased with our performance, including the return to positive comp sales. Comparable store sales increased 2.9%, which was ahead of the casual dining benchmark by 70 basis points. We believe an increased focus on value, a favorable holiday calendar, better weather and the ongoing improvement in our core offering were the key drivers of this growth. On a comparable week basis, we grew overall revenue by nearly 16% and EBITDA by approximately 6% during the quarter.

We continue to drive