BJ’s 3Q hit hard by hurricanes, weak sales

Company calls the quarter ‘challenging’ but says trends have improved in October

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. said late Thursday that the impact of two hurricanes hurt both sales and profits in what the company called a “challenging” third quarter.

Same-store sales at the California-based casual-dining chain declined 1.7 percent in the period that ended Oct. 3. Revenue in the quarter increased 5.7 percent to $247 million, while net income fell 67 percent to $2.4 million, or 11 cents a share, from $7.2 million, or 30 cents.

With one-time events factored out, however, net income was $3.2 million, or 15 cents. Both earnings and revenue fell short of investors’ expectations, according to information from the financial site Earnings Whispers.

In a statement, BJ’s CEO Greg Trojan called the quarter “a challenging time for us, and the overall restaurant industry.”

He said the company lost about $1.7 million in sales from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, while damage from the stores cost the company $900,000. The company estimates that the hurricanes hurt same-store sales by 60 basis points, and earnings per share by 3 cents.

But the company also said that things have started to pick up so far in the fourth quarter. The company said that, factoring out the hurricane, same-store sales rose 1 percent in September, and so far same-store sales are up 2 percent in October.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

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