Business

Bojangles’ reports better-than-expected earnings, sales

Bojangles’ Corporate Headquarters in Charlotte.
Bojangles’ Corporate Headquarters in Charlotte. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-based Bojangles’ reported third-quarter earnings Wednesday that topped expectations thanks to a rise in sales.

The chicken-and-biscuits chain said income for the quarter totaled $8.9 million, beating the consensus estimate of $6.9 million from 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. For the third quarter a year ago, reported income was $7 million.

Sales for the quarter that ended Sept. 27 totaled $124.3 million, above the Wall Street consensus of $123 million and up from $110.3 million during the same quarter in 2014.

Comparable store sales, an industry term for those open at least a year, increased 4.1 percent for the third quarter.

Clifton Rutledge, Bojangles’ chief executive officer, said in a statement the company is working on a number of “important initiatives” that will strengthen the chain’s brand, including expanding its footprint in adjacent markets and filling in its markets in the Carolinas.

The chain will also improve its supply chain through a “new partnership,” Rutledge said, though he didn’t provide additional details.

Bojangles’ share price has dropped about 5.7 percent since it went public in May. Its initial public offering share price was set at $19 and by the closing bell of its first day of trading, its stock was up 25 percent. During after-hours trading Wednesday, it was up 4.4 percent at $17.92.

Bojangles’ operates about 650 restaurants, primarily in the Southeast. When it went public, Bojangles’ said it would grow its footprint in areas in which it’s already well-known, then gradually spread into adjacent markets. Rutledge has said the chain will not move into new states for at least five years.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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